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Foreword by Philip M. Isaacson princeton architectural press, new york

Published by: Princeton Architectural Press 37 East 7th Street New York, New York 10003 Visit our website at © 2013 Elliott + Elliott Architecture All rights reserved Printed and bound in China

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Houses of Maine : Elliott + Elliott Architecture /

Fannie Bushin, Carina Cha, Andrea Chlad,

foreword by Philip M. Isaacson. — First edition.

Russell Fernandez, Will Foster, Jan Haux,

   pages cm

Diane Levinson, Jennifer Lippert, Katharine Myers,

ISBN 978-1-61689-122-0 (hardback)

Margaret Rogalski, Elana Schlenker, Dan Simon,

1. Elliott + Elliott Architecture. 2. Architecture,

Sara Stemen, Andrew Stepanian, Paul Wagner,

Domestic —Maine — History — 21st century.

and Joseph Weston of Princeton Architectural Press

NA737.E355A4 2013

— Kevin C. Lippert, publisher

728.09741 — dc23 2012033525


Foreword Philip M. Isaacson




House in a Meadow


House on a Point


House on the Neck


House on the Barrens


House on a Hill


House on a Pond






Publications + Awards


Project Credits


Office Team

House in a Meadow William Morris once remarked, “Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.” This philosophy pervades life in Maine and in turn defines the concept for this project. Drawn from the aesthetics of Shaker meetinghouses and Maine grange halls, simplicity, practicality, and celebration of the ordinary prevail. The owners, a retired priest and a practicing artist, sought pure architectural expression, devoid of any applied ornament or pretense. Simple white-clapboard grange halls

Keep it simple, keep it simple, keep it simple, was their mantra, and

dot the landscape throughout Maine.

the building evolved around this unyielding principle, which resonated with the natural beauty of the site itself. By reclaiming a long-overgrown field, the site was transformed into a meadow. On the highest point stands a gathering of buildings— house, barn, and studio—nestled together to form a dooryard. Contrasting with the broad views of the field and ocean beyond, traditional stone walls surround this outdoor space, whose serenity is mirrored in the layout of the house. Having relocated from an urban loft, the owners found their affection for an open living environment gracefully accommodated in their new home. Their decision to work with historic forms and window patterns led to a plan that is ordered, interwoven, and contained within a simple rectangle. The living room, dining room, and kitchen are stacked, allowing the spaces to share a common view of the water. Many guests have commented that the house resembles the renovation of a historic building—traditional on the outside, modern on the inside. Rooms are minimal, unadorned, and mostly white. Carefully selected objects celebrate beauty through singleness of purpose. A utilitarian stair passes by ordered windows without compromise. Radiators march rhythmically around the perimeter of the spaces. Cabinet pulls are replaced by finger holes—a detail borrowed from boats in the nearby harbor. The fireplace stands solidly as a granite block, while its chimney passes through the floor of the master bedroom above—a straightforward expression that takes on a sculptural quality. This house tries to honor the Shaker philosophy of simple, utilitarian beauty at every scale, from the exacting arrangement of three clapboard structures to the elimination of nonessential elements such as porch posts and cabinet pulls. An early project, House in a Meadow is the first in a series of buildings that employ Maine vernacular precedents, not as an imposition of historicist preconception but rather as an opportunity for contemporary abstraction.



House in a Meadow


Ground floor


1 terrace 2 entry


powder room

4 mudroom / pantry 5 kitchen 6 dining 7 living 8 studio 9 storage 10 barn



storage bay



3 8

4 2



6 1



House in a Meadow



Local granite, white clapboards, and a metal roof make up the simple, tradition-inspired palette of exterior materials.

House in a Meadow



House in a Meadow


Fabricated at a shop in southern Maine, the staircase arrived at the site in a single piece, too large to maneuver into the house. It was hoisted through the windows and placed inside the stair opening.


House in a Meadow



House in a Meadow


The porch roof is supported by unassuming wall brackets rather than customary posts. The choice reflects the owners’ design mantra, Keep it simple.


House in a Meadow



“Rough backs,� the first slabs cut off quarried blocks of granite, are typically designated as waste. Recovered from old quarries, the slabs here create a sculptural pathway linking the house and the studio.

House in a Meadow



House in a Meadow



House in a Meadow


Houses of Maine: Elliott + Elliott Architecture  

"There have been many influences for us over the years but the defining factor in our firm's work is that we practice architecture in Maine,...

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