We just completed an addition to a house we built 17 years ago. But not just any addition to any house we built 17 years ago. It was part of a remarkable continuum of projects and part of the story of our relationship with a family and their large property.
It began in 1996 when Roy and Diana came to us after purchasing an 80 acre parcel in Chilmark that stretched from North Road to the Vineyard Sound. There was an old farmstead near the road consisting of a pre-revolutionary cape, a garage, and a cottage built in the 1930’s. It was a mile drive down the twisting dirt road to the Vineyard Sound, where there is a lovely cove, a sandy beach, and a small tucked-away camp with an outhouse and a pitcher pump.
Our clients wanted a single house to accommodate their large family in the immediate future and a master plan to make houses for their four children over time.
The property is long and narrow. The road ran along the edge, next to an adjoining development. Except for the original farmstead near the road and the beach area, the property was overgrown and inaccessible. As we began to investigate, we discovered that it is far more dramatic than we initially thought: there is a series of deep ravines and some wonderful high spots with potential for wonderful views across the Vineyard Sound to the Elizabeth Islands.
During the next several years we worked closely with landscape designer Sanford Evans. We explored, we mapped, we envisioned.