Mere Point Cottage
Mere Point, Brunswick, Maine
Project Team: Melissa Andrews, Brian Stephens, Will Winkelman
Builder: Coastal Carpentry, Inc, Dana Smith
Landscape: Landcrafters, David Jewell
Photography: Jeff Roberts
A weaving together of an 1885 seasonal Maine cottage with a newly constructed year-round addition
The clients are long time summer residents of Mere Point, sharing a classic Maine summer cottage with their extended family. With many generations of memories made and shared in the cottage it was important to find a way to honor and preserve the character and charm of the original cottage while expanding the home in a way that was complementary and sympathetic to the original.
We affectionately refer to the resulting solution as a ‘time machine’. It does something magi-cal... weaving together the preservation of a classic 1885 seasonal Maine cottage located on the shore in Mere Point with a newly constructed, self-sustaining year-round addition.
The client’s initial goal was to convert the seasonal cottage to year-round use and build an expansion for improved spaces for cooking, socializing and sleeping. But after evaluation, the team concluded that the character of the original cottage would be destroyed (and costly) if the necessary work to winterize was taken on. We also felt that the option of tearing it down and rebuilding entirely new would lose the time-worn character that was so endearing. So a Plan ‘B’ emerged that let the existing cottage remain a seasonal structure with its only improvements being to stabilize it on a new foundation and to restore and/or maintain roofing, siding and windows.
The program for year-round functionality was satisfied by building a new addition along side the original seasonal cottage that functions as its own dwelling in the winter. It is lightly connected to the original, expanding the two parts into a single whole in the summer that can flex to entertain large gatherings. The original cottage has 10’ ceilings, ambered natural pine paneling throughout, extra wide paneling in the formal spaces, a deep front sitting porch, a classic sun porch and is imbued with the deep history of an extended families memories.
The newly constructed year-round portion, built-in cottage style, has all the updates and conveniences of a contemporary living plan. It includes an open living / dining / kitchen plan, a first floor guest suite, an upper level master suite and office, plus 2 additional bedrooms and a recreation room.
The gallery space between the two structures, which is also the entry, deliberately reads as an indoor porch of sorts, using exterior siding for walls, stone pavers for flooring and glass for the ceiling, acting as a transitional space linking the two time periods.