"We love the Nordic nautical tight feel...........that's us! KTA created a sunny passive cottage for cozy winter relaxing and family summer playing, successfully making optimum use of limited space." -Dixon and Susan Riley, Owner - Spartina
An outdated, mini-structure of under 1000 square feet with a view of a reversing falls in Harpswell, Maine, and within feet of the water's edge, needed to be rebuilt. The Town's requirements allowed a one-time 30% expansion and the owners wanted to make the best of it. The home was for intermittent use by the owners, and rented for much of the year, so durability and energy efficiency were key.
With an expanse of water to the east, a form was created to allow that view to be primary, and an open tower/loft lifted the form to the south, spilling light deep into the space - enough even to graze the back walls in wintertime. An open floor plan, including interior windows from the master bedroom, allowed a space that felt completely open to all corners, critical when the square footage was below 1200 sf. Like a ship, elements were tucked in to create an efficient use of space; the corner dining nook can double as a prime sleeping spot; a loft ladder gets you up to a sunny but intimate reading nook; a tub's wall drops away to allow borrowed water views through the bedroom. And all was done within a super-insulated envelope, easily conditioned by the home's wood stove, with a backup air source heat pump as required. An "easter egg" appears when you view the structure's roof from the road: it is an "S", both for the name of the client and their beloved Spartina cottage.
The Town's requirements allowed a one-time 30% expansion of the existing footprint.
Budget / Economy
The home was constructed on a modest budget, given its scale, of about $200/sf.
The home is extremely energy efficient, employing R-40 walls, R-60 roof, R-20 under the passively heated slab, triple-glazed windows and a heat recovery ventilation system. The builder was able to achieve a very air-tight envelope, below 1.0 ACH 50.
The home uses evacuated tubes to produce domestic hot water.