Playing with Tradition

Playing with Tradition

The design of a coastal Rhode Island house is inspired by
sandy toes and shingle style architecture

Architecture Magazine 2008

Jill Connors

Location matters in architecture, no more so than when the setting is spectacular, as in a pie-shaped piece of land whose “crust” lies along a salt pond a few hundred feet from the Atlantic Ocean. In 2000, a Connecticut family of five, which had vacationed in southern Rhode Island for years, bought a 1960s house in Westerly, along Quonochontaug Pond. They used the existing house (“little more than two-by-fours and plywood,” the homeowner recalls) for four summers, gauging their needs and getting a permit to build a dock. When it came time to build a new summer home, they called on David Andreozzi of Andreozzi Architects in Barrington, Rhode Island. What they wanted, they told him, was a house that was “traditional but fun.” A simply stated wish, to be sure, but fulfilling it meant triumphing over a number of pesky complications. “There were myriad restrictions — from flood zoning to limitations on the volume of the house,” says Andreozzi, who knew that optimizing the view was his most important mandate. “Being on that salt pond is so special,” says Andreozzi. “The plan was all about exploding the view.”

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