Bohlin Cywinski Jackson has enjoyed the long-term collaboration with clients whose vision of creating a compound for future generations of their family has been realized through the multi-phased design on their 70-acre oceanfront farm. The master plan specifies thoughtful interventions to both building and landscape that exploit and reveal the rich variety and nuances of this historic New England farm.
The owners fell in love with coastal Rhode Island and this farm two decades ago, and purchased the property after renting it for a succession of summers. The property is surrounded by water on three sides: freshwater ponds lie to the east and west, and the Atlantic Ocean forms the southern border. A cluster of 18th and 19th-century agrarian structures occupies a crest in the landscape.
The Master Plan for this family compound is fluid and mutable. The architects have collaborated with the owners on the phasing of building projects on the farm since 1997. Phase One includes the renovation and addition to an 1800’s cottage into the client’s year-round home and the creation of a caretakers compound. Phase Two involved the addition to an historic cape and the coordination of new mechanical and electrical systems into the separately restored cape. Phase Three consisted of the adaption of the centrally located stone barn into the family’s shared ‘great room’. Several future building phases have been discussed.
Architectural and landscape interventions were considered not just for the immediate project, but also for projects planned many years out. It was important to the architects to place or anticipate view corridors, organizing axes and elements, and modified landforms to knit old and new together into a cohesive whole.