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Natural Progression

Expanding an Osterville home to fit the needs of a growing family.

Expanding an Osterville home to fit the needs of a growing family.

Photography by Eric Roth

When Jim Righter and Jacob Albert, architects of Albert, Righter & Tittmann (A,R&T), began designing a small family home in Osterville in 1982, they never imagined their work on the home would extend over more than 20 years and several generations. Set on a spacious lot with classic Cape Cod marsh views, the structure was originally 2,300 square feet and just large enough to comfortably house a couple and their children for the long leisurely summers. To accommodate the homeowner’s growing family, the house underwent two phases of expansion over the next two decades: the first in 1996, another in 2003. A, R&T put a lot of work into the house to transform it into a multi-generational destination for the owners, their children and grandchildren, and visitors of all ages.

“The original house was built to look like a modest, authentic Cape,” Albert says. “We did a careful study on the scale of traditional Cape homes.” In order to best showcase the landscape while maintaining the home’s traditional feel, the architect designed the front of the house in the time-honored Cape style, with simple unadorned windows and doors, and an iconic central chimney. The rear of the house, however, boasts a more modern style. Albert added large bay windows to the marsh side of the home to display the sweeping panoramic views of the bay as well as the wildlife that frequent the marsh. Unlike many traditional Cape cottages, the home is winterized and comfortable year-round.

In 1996, the homeowners contacted A,R&T again. The addition that emerged from this second collaboration added 1,000 square feet in total, with more space in the master bedroom as well as a den and two extra bedrooms to accommodate the homeowner’s family and guests. This addition required Albert to think of ways to cater to both adult guests and the children who would be enjoying their summers in the house. The new den became the children’s recreation space—it’s the only room in the house with a TV—while the more formal living room within the original structure remains a place for adults to gather. “This is a multi-generational house—it has to serve the kids well and the adults well,” says Albert.

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