sea salt

the aggregate llc response to "Add-on: A two-phase competition for a freestanding, affordable, accessory dwelling unit on Cape Cod," winter 2013. (Full submission [PDF]).

From the call for entries:

"Cape Cod is an environmentally fragile piece of land projecting out into the Atlantic Ocean from New England's coast. The landscape and vegetation have changed along with settlement patterns. Currently, the scarcity and high cost of undeveloped land along with the area's changing demographics have caused a lack of affordable housing which threatens the region's diversity and economic health. At the same time the Cape's delicate freshwater aquifer is threatened by overuse and contamination.

"The town of Wellfleet has sought to encourage an incremental increase in affordable rental housing through an Accessory Dwelling bylaw which allows a second living unit to be built on the lot of an existing home, provided it has the septic capacity. Participating property owners in Wellfleet commit to renting these units at an affordable rate."

Participants were invited to submit innovative designs for a freestanding, 800-sf one-bedroom unit, and were encouraged to include strategies for limiting the use of local resources and energy.

aggregate set out to create a contemporary version of the "Saltbox" vernacular common across the northern New England region. Similar to its ancestor, our saltbox form was shaped by social and environmental conscience, but was updated to a highly efficient housing unit by integrating current building technologies and contemporary design cues.

Much like the growing vines on its facade, Sea Salt is designed to change and adapt to the surroundings. Perched on cylindrical footings, it mimicks and camouflages itself among the trees. Grand south-facing windows are shaded seasonally by a secondary screen wall, intended to attract spring growth. The compact plan and centralized mechanical core allow for a flexible perimeter, maximizing views to the harbor on the southern and western facades. Meanwhile, with the use of local materials, the northern and eastern elevations blend into the landscape.

Project status: concept