Translating traditions for an active family
A modern interpretation of classic New England design sets the stage for a family’s retreat
When Chris and Steve Richards first met with Hutker Architects in Falmouth, they didn’t quite know what to expect. “I’ve never built a house before,” Chris says. “I was under the impression it was going to require a lot more from me, but everyone just made the whole process so easy.” That is the goal for every experience between clients and their architects, and according to the Richards, that is exactly what was delivered from Hutker and C.H. Newton Builders, who collaborated to create a home for this energetic family.
“I feel like they ‘got’ what we wanted,” Chris says, as she explains how the process evolved. “That is what made it so easy.” That ability to “get” a client doesn’t just happen because two parties sit down together. It is an underlying skill—one when put into motion is not obvious, but instead sublimely natural—that distinguishes an effective and successful relationship, particularly between an architect and a homeowner. That is the kind of firm Hutker Architects exemplifies.
Chris and Steve Richards had enjoyed a Cape home in Brewster for a decade—a home that was filled with memories of raising their children and welcoming extended family and friends. The time had come to re-consider the possibilities of what kind of home could support and encourage their busy lifestyle for the future. As project manager, Hutker’s Kevin Dauphinais started with a new structure on the existing lot and incorporated all of the things the Richards thought they wanted, and some of the things they didn’t yet know they would enjoy.
“We got along right away,” says Mark Hutker, FAIA, principal of Hutker Architects. “Chris was very articulate about her goals for the house and how she wanted to embrace her family lifestyle. We always start with lifestyle. For Steve it was all about the outside spaces and the possibilities of how the family could enjoy the area outside. Chris was focused on the interaction of the different spaces inside as they related to her kitchen, since she loves to cook. If you put a fulcrum point under the house, it is under the kitchen; she knows that’s where people tend to hang out, yet she has a defensible kitchen where she can be highly functional, but can still welcome involvement and interaction.”
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