Photograph courtesy of Elliot Elliot Norelius.

House on Penobscot Bay

The house on Penobscot Bay is one of the most rewarding projects I’ve worked on. It was done during the period in which I was a partner with my previous firm, Elliott Elliott Norelius Architecture. The owners are a vivacious couple whose energy is only eclipsed by that of their two dogs, Harvey and Sidney. We worked together well over the course of several years, and there were many, many meetings where every single aesthetic and technical detail of the house and its construction was discussed. We each seemed to have a specific role to play, and the drama that unfolded in those meetings was complex, spirited, and often fun. The owners had an uncanny ability to see—and want to capitalize upon–new opportunities at every step in the design and construction process, and it kept the final design solution elusive. It required a great deal of flexibility and responsibility: I needed to be able to incorporate an evolving set of aesthetic and practical requirements, but in the end, I knew the house must have a sense of integration and resolution. It taught me that a design concept should be “generous” enough to take changes along the way and still feel whole. But it also taught me that the final physical reality of the house can become much richer with such a process.