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Whitten Architects Nestles Coastal Home Near Acadia National Park

Whitten Architects Nestles Coastal Home Near Acadia National Park

Renowned for its scenic beauty and historical allure, Whitten Architects nestles a modest house near Acadia National Park on the banks of one of Maine’s tidal rivers.

Envisioned as a retreat, the site is steeped in a deep-seated tradition of shipbuilding with saltwater farms and has long standing connections to conserving the coastal lands.

Whitten Architects Nestles Coastal Home Near Acadia National Park
Architecture by Whitten Architects // Landscape Architecture by Emma Kelly // Photography by Trent Bell.

Honoring the 600-foot shoreline setback mandated by the Maine Coast Heritage Trust, the home is situated far from the waterfront to preserve the landscape’s rolling field and woodlands leading to the river.

A key aspect of the design was to ensure the home appeared subtly on approach, enhancing visibility across it to the water.
Architecture by Whitten Architects // Landscape Architecture by Emma Kelly // Photography by Trent Bell.

A key aspect of the design was to ensure the home appeared subtly on approach, enhancing visibility across it to the water.

The fields are maintained through biannual hay cutting, creating a vibrant, dynamic foreground, with the river views set against coastal woodlands providing a picturesque middle ground that draws the eye to the tranquil background.

The layout of the home merges with the surrounding field, softening the boundary between the patio, the house’s edge, and the natural landscape.
Architecture by Whitten Architects // Landscape Architecture by Emma Kelly // Photography by Trent Bell.

The layout of the home merges with the surrounding field, softening the boundary between the patio, the house’s edge, and the natural landscape.

Positioned at the northern boundary of the field, the house offers expansive views over it towards the water, optimizing solar collector placement for electrical and heating needs.

By reducing the central connector and limiting the structure to one story, Whitten Architects reduced the visual impact while providing direct access to the outdoors from the living spaces.

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Emma Kelly Landscape Architects uses native plants surrounding this modest home.
Architecture by Whitten Architects // Landscape Architecture by Emma Kelly // Photography by Trent Bell.

The landscape, designed by Emma Kelly Landscape, facilitates numerous points of interaction with the natural setting.

Through carefully framed views, a stone terrace and a spacious screened porch, connects the high entry level down to the living spaces at grade on the south side.

Whitten Architects Nestles Coastal Home Near Acadia National Park
Architecture by Whitten Architects // Landscape Architecture by Emma Kelly // Photography by Trent Bell.

Efforts were made to maintain a connection with the outdoors even from lower areas; elevating the grade near windows enhances this intimacy with the natural surroundings, despite being in “basement” areas.

High north-facing windows, coupled with large glass doors to the south, ensure balanced sunlight and encourage natural airflow.

Throughout the project, the material selection focused on local, natural, and reclaimed resources to construct a durable, low-maintenance home that reflects local architectural traditions.
Architecture by Whitten Architects // Landscape Architecture by Emma Kelly // Photography by Trent Bell.

Throughout the project, the material selection focused on local, natural, and reclaimed resources to construct a durable, low-maintenance home that reflects local architectural traditions.

The exterior is adorned with native plantings and features cedar shingles and vertical cedar siding, incorporating reclaimed materials, especially in the fireplace at the owners’ behest.

Whitten Architects Nestles Coastal Home Near Acadia National Park
Architecture by Whitten Architects // Landscape Architecture by Emma Kelly // Photography by Trent Bell.

Since 1986, Whitten Architects has been crafting meticulously designed homes in New England and specializes exclusively in residential design.

On each of their projects, they believe a home should reflect its occupants, with its design evolving from a deep appreciation and understanding of its site.

Their work has garnered numerous awards over the years and has been widely featured in various residential design books and magazines.

Architecture by: Whitten Architects

Landscape Architecture by: Emma Kelly Landscape

Structural Engineer by: Albert Putnam Associates

Builder by: Hewes & Company

Interior Design by: Kelly Healy of Belhaakon

Landscape Installation by: Atlantic Landscape Construction

Photography by: ‍Trent Bell Photography

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