House 1 On The Marsh
Latitude 42.797467 Longitude -70.828095
Project Square Footage: 1,250
Despite consisting of only 3 rooms- a Master Suite, a Kitchen & Living area, and a Loft- and a modest 960sf footprint, this is a big little house. The presence of the two story loft adds 290sf, and an expansive vertical volume at the house’s core that opens the place up spatially.
The master bedroom suite itself is only 320sf including the full private bath, but the vaulted ceiling and the walls of glass on either side give the room a spacious, open feel (even the bathroom, itself only 80sf, has taller than usual ceilings and a large 5′-0″ x 8′-0″ shower room).
The presence and abundance of natural light that floods this house means that during the day no artificial light is necessary. The windows that are placed in both the front and rear facades of this narrow house are augmented by 5 skylights (3 in the bedroom and two above the kitchen / loft area) all of which face due north, bathing the interior in a cool, diffuse light throughout the year. These skylights also help w/ summertime air circulation, allowing the warmer air to rise and exit the building, creating a gentle vacuum that draws the cooler air in through the house off the adjacent water (the house is on the Merrimack River bank, and a paddle board ride up from the Atlantic into which the river flows). As a result, the house needs no mechanical air conditioning, and in the summer consumes little electricity.
The house sits on 15 steel piles driven an average of 30′-0″ into the ground. This was done to comply with the federally stipulated flood plain elevation, and to provide parking underneath(for more on this foundation and its design, see my blog post “How Much Woo Can A Wood Chuck Chuck…?).
“It’s the biggest house I have ever lived in, and I have lived in much bigger houses!” Robert M.
Photo Credits: Seacoast Photography