After serious concerns about the chosen site’s ability to support a 372 square-metre residence, the architect had to come up with a solution that would allow the home owner to move the house should it face an environmental threat. To solve this problem, Canadian architect Peter Rose engineered the single-family East House in the town of Chilmark on Martha’s Vineyard, as a series of individual units.
Rose designed the home’s living spaces as eight individual cast-in-place concrete boxes. Each ‘box’ is connected via interstitial corridors, which were built using lightweight timber construction. According to the architect, this makes the living spaces structurally independent from one another, which in turn allows them to be moved more easily.
“The solution was to cast the floors in concrete, making each box a single structural unit that can be individually lifted and moved to a location far from the bluff in case of erosion,” said the architect.
“The boxes are individually lift-able with all interior finishes in place, and the interstitial corridors are built as light wood-framed zones,” Rose added. “They are easily removed and rebuilt if the building is moved.”
Each box is topped with a planted roof, which aids in capturing rainwater to prevent further site degradation.
The home’s entrance leads visitors through to the centre of the house. The western side of the residence consists of five bedrooms, each with an en-suite bathroom.
On the other side of the home are the public spaces such as the study and the family living room. Towards the south lies the open-plan kitchen and dining room.
The home features large floor-to-ceiling windows, giving the occupants access to various indoor and outdoor spaces.
“The gap between concrete units amplifies the sound of the ocean, bringing it and sea breezes through the entire house,” said the architect.
Source: Rose and Partners