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SPAN Architecture builds Astor Residence on remote Maine coastline

New York Metropolis studio SPAN Architecture has accomplished a distant retreat in Maine on a assets that involves gardens and a teahouse educated by Chinese architecture.


Named Astor Home, the household is found on Maine’s rugged coastline, overlooking the waters of Western Bay. Encompassing roughly 200 acres (80.9 hectares) of land, the residence serves as a retreat for a New York Metropolis couple.

The house was designed on a home on the Maine coastline

The property as soon as belonged to American socialite Brooke Astor, who attained an early desire in China by means of her travels as a boy or girl when her father served in the US armed forces. Her secluded Western Bay residence served as a getaway for her and shut acquaintances, exactly where she constructed a pavilion and tea household knowledgeable by Chinese architecture.

Its existing homeowners initial engaged Karen Stonely and Peter Pelsinski of SPAN Architecture quite a few years in the past for an apartment in Manhattan. They selected to get the job done with the architects again to restore the property’s current tea dwelling and pavilion, as nicely as build a new guest dwelling and most important household for the homeowners, their spouse and children, and close friends.

The house previously belonged to Brooke Astor
A Chinese pavilion on the web site was renovated as element of the get the job done

“The meandering backyard garden and structures by late architect Robert Patterson have been meticulously restored and modernised,” claimed SPAN Architecture. “SPAN’s more substantial masterplan for the assets incorporates these accessory buildings – the historic, Chinese-styled cottage now referred to as the Pool Pavilion and the Teahouse as it was – to enhance a new guest residence as properly as a new primary house.”

The angled rooflines of equally these structures present views of the bay past the owner’s dwelling spaces, and develop sheltered outside parts for socialising and gathering.

The project is in Maine, US
The new structures have angled rooflines

SPAN Architecture designed the guest property very first, as a way of testing particular style suggestions that would later be utilized to the most important residence. This scaled-down creating sits somewhat even further away from the h2o than the most important residence, which also aids preserve it out of sight.

The primary residence’s least expensive level comprises five bedrooms and is partly sunken into the landscape, opening on one aspect to the exterior. This makes a plinth for the higher tales, which include all of the home’s community spaces, and the owner’s bedroom higher than.

“The experience of strolling via the dwelling parallels that of meandering by way of the landscape,” said SPAN Architecture. “The very same way that the landscape presents at any time-transforming vistas, shock, delight and a perception of discovery, the system results in a slender entrance that presents just a hint, to people, of the open up, double-peak living space further than, with the kitchen area in one more course completely.”

The principal bed room occupies the best flooring of the property and enjoys a wraparound terrace that overlooks the other outdoor spaces. Full-top glass partitions on three sides build a entire immersion in the site’s lush organic surroundings.

The property is located on Maine's rugged coast
A wraparound terrace gives panoramic sights from the most important bedroom

SPAN Architecture’s material palette was primarily based on local materials, as properly as analysis on the tea home and pavilion’s primary architect. Nearby cedar, Douglas fir, and stone from the exact quarry as employed for the earlier constructing ended up used through the interiors.

An eclectic selection of household furniture pieces rounds out the decor. “A charming element of the furnishing is that old and new happily co-exist antique and classic decor contrasts with other, far more contemporary sculptural components,” reported SPAN Architecture.

SPAN Architecture designed the project
Eclectic furnishings features in the course of the property

Other waterfront properties in Maine consist of a cedar-clad property by Caleb Johnson that sits on strong picket stilts, and a property break up into two elements connected by a tall glass atrium that architects Maria Berman and Brad Horn crafted for them selves on Vinalhaven Island.

The photography is by Rob Karosis.