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The design for this summer home focuses on the inherent dichotomy found in a site fronted by a street and with infinite vistas of the ocean to the rear. The plan is divided into a stucco volume that contains utilitarian spaces and secondary bedrooms along the street and a white cedar and glass pavilion that houses the living spaces and primary bedroom on the ocean side. A narrow full height atrium separates the two and accommodates entry and vertical circulation. An inverted hip roof covers the pavilion and slips through to the street side providing a preview of the house beyond and uniting the two components into one composition. The roof form also acts as a giant rain scoop funneling water through a scupper, down a chain, and into a cistern used for irrigation. Because the rear volume extends to its maximum allowable width while the pavilion is set back from the sides, the rear bedrooms have views of the ocean as well. This setback additionally enables even the rear rooms to benefit from cross-breezes; and when combined with louvered interior doors, large overhangs, and the atrium, the house rarely needs its air-conditioning. Additionally, the main volume of the house is pulled back from the ocean side with the benefit that the views from the second floor office and the deck over the screened porch are panoramic and include long vistas up and down the coast.




Bethany Beach, DE


6,240 SF


Private Vacation Home






Internal Team: Charles Alexander, Laurie McLain, Eric Lewis

Design Team: McLain Associates, Inc. (Consulting Architect), Hugh H. Hickman & Sons, Inc. (Contractor), Baker, Ingram & Associates (Structural), Land Design, Inc. (Surveryor)


AIA Baltimore 2003