Modern Vision

Cape Cod Home  /  Autumn 2022 /

Writer: Hannah Kunze / Photographer: David Sundberg 

A Contemporary Take on the Classic Cape Vernacular Situated on a hill overlooking an expanse of the Atlantic, this Orleans home is a geometric spectacle enveloped in eye-catching silver-gray monochrome. Two chimneys reach to the sky while the north wall slopes downward like a trapezoid. Segments of the home are raised, supported only by metal columns, seeming to float in midair. With an abundance of striking features, it would be no surprise if the home felt alien, out of place amongst its traditional neighbors—but it doesn’t. Despite its uniqueness, the house is anything but ostentatious and seamlessly blends with its surroundings. The home’s arresting exterior is a play on new and old, a modern take on Cape Cod tradition. When viewed for the first time, it takes a moment to realize that this distinct, one-of-a-kind structure has combined regional familiarity with innovation, keeping it grounded within its neighborhood. For example, the uniform gray was achieved using the Cape’s well-known Alaskan Yellow Cedar shingles, and the oversized geometric forms reflect the gables and center chimney that define Cape Cod architecture. “The longer you look at it, the more it makes sense for where it is,” says builder Cregg Sweeney of Cregg Sweeney Artisan Builders. “It’s grounded and it fits in with the surrounding structures.” Architect Lisa Gray and her partner Alan Organschi, of Gray Organschi Architecture, designed the home with the help of team members Parker Lee, Jack Wolfe, Ellen Kebabian and Dan Kazer to simultaneously blend with and enhance its Cape context. “We wanted the house to be a good neighbor, but we were also searching for a way to create a contemporary Cape Cod vernacular,” she explains, “The home is restrained on the outside, with the large, gabled roof forms reflecting its New England location, yet it is, undeniably, modern.” The home’s contemporaneity is in its…

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Hannah Kunze