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Patrick Ahearn Architecture

Cape Cod Home  /  Annual Home 2016 / ,

Writer: Susan Dewey

Cape & Islands Architects and Builders

Courtesy of Patrick Ahearn Architecture

Courtesy of Patrick Ahearn Architecture

With over 42 years of success as an architect, Patrick Ahearn knows the importance of understanding a client’s needs. But for Ahearn—a member of the New England Design Hall of Fame—being successful also means going beyond a client’s needs and “taking them to a place they never imagined they would be.”

“What can we do to make this home memorable and special?” Ahearn says is the cornerstone of his design approach. “I try to create architecture that’s intimate in scale and romantic, but memorable in people’s psyche.”

Ahearn, who is based in Edgartown, Martha’s Vineyard and Boston’s Back Bay, specializes in historically-based architecture and interior design, with his team of designers focusing on new construction, historic renovation, and restoration projects. He refers to his work as “historically motivated. My architecture is informed by how people want to live today,” he explains. “It’s not historical preservation per se, but there are—particularly in New England—great historical points of reference to use in creating new architecture.”

Courtesy of Patrick Ahearn Architecture

Courtesy of Patrick Ahearn Architecture

The Martha’s Vineyard resident—who was the selected architect for the 2015 HGTV Dream Home built in Edgartown—is particularly passionate about crafting homes on the island. He has completed over 150 houses, both new construction and restoration projects, in 12 blocks of Edgartown alone, and has helped to revitalize and preserve the town.

“Every 15 minutes you have a different experience on the island,” Ahearn says, whether it’s driving among the whaling captains’ homes in Edgartown, viewing the cottages in Oak Bluffs, or savoring the rolling fields of West Tisbury, and the “Irish moors” in Chilmark. “The variety of the natural topography is very appealing.”

Whether he’s designing on Martha’s Vineyard, in the Boston area, or on Cape Cod, Ahearn says he always respects a project’s unique surrounding location.

“I tell my clients that you have a responsibility, particularly in older towns on the Cape and Islands, to subscribe to; it’s the greater-good theory, in that you need to recognize the scale of the buildings and houses around you,” he says. “Even though you may be allowed to build a bigger building by current zoning, perhaps you should not.”

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Susan Dewey

Susan Dewey, former associate publisher and editor at Cape Cod Life Publications, lives in Centerville where she grows vegetables and flowers for Cape farmers' markets, designs perennial gardens for her son’s company, Dewey Gardens, and enjoys living on beautiful Cape Cod year round.