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Carried away: East House by Peter Rose + Partners.

Martha's Vinyard needs no introduction as a beautiful stretch of Atlantic coast where well heeled Americans go to play. It cannot last however!

Parts of the coast that are continually being pummelled by the weather and the ocean, are vanishing fast. When Peter Rose and his client discovered this about the East House bluff, there was a lot of discomfort, but also a storm of inspiration.

East House is conceived as a series of concrete boxes that can be picked-up and moved inland, complete with internal finishes and green roof, should that become necessary. Between the boxes are interstitial circulation spaces that are enclosed with easily rebuilt timber framing. Aside from guiding people through the building, the roofs of those spaces also harvest rainwater to be used for irrigation.

Strategic views of the landscape draw people thorough the house to the library and living area.

There is a strong tactile quality to the finishes. The external finish of the rough cast concrete boxes contrast with the precise detail and sharp edges of the Douglas Fir and Alaskan Cedar internal lining, whilst the honed stone floors contrast with the surrounding rugged natural landscape.

There is side-wide glazing on five of the elevations which when opened channel reflected ocean noise and breezes deep into the house. And yet for such rugged structure the house almost vanishes in its landscape from certain viewpoints.


This is the second post today exploring the work of Peter Rose + Partners, a practice that has gained international recognition for its environmentally intelligent, and architecturally thoughtful projects. The East House has been widely acclaimed and serves as a warm introduction to the practice's recent work.

Visit the Housing Tower for the Kripalu Centre for Yoga & Health.

Front elevation.

Patio view.

Interstitial space.

Window detail.

Living area.

Views throuhn the house.

Timber walls.

Light timber walls.

View right through.

Lounge area.

Entrance at night.

Ocean at night.

Concrete box diagram.

Current magazine
DETAIL 7+8/2020
DETAIL 7-8/2020

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