Winkelman Architecture


Mount Desert Island, Maine

Project Team: Will Winkelman

Builder: John Vargis, Bar Harbor, Maine

Photography: Jeff Roberts

Grown from the site.. that was the primary directive from the client for this year around retreat on Somes Sound on Mount Desert Island.

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The spectacular site of spruce and ledges rolling down to the sound has southwesterly views. The building’s form nests into the hillside on the high side and flies as the site drops away, enabling a daylight basement.

A driving objective was to be cost effective but to use timeless, low maintenance materials. The result was a simple form (essentially a rectangle), with a single plane / shed roof, opening up and out to the light and views, sheathed in copper.. a simple gesture with quality materials. Siding is hand-split western red cedar shakes with red cedar trim, and Marvin Integrity windows, to work on a budget.

The 5 bedroom program was split, with 2 bedrooms pushed to either end (and one in the daylight basement) framing the public spaces (entry/living/dining/kitchen) in the middle, maximizing light and views. The entry sequence begins high, looking over the copper roof toward the water. As one enters the building, there is a layered view through the building, to water

Internally, the plan steps down, flowing with the contours of the site. This enables the upper most bedroom to exit to grade, onto the ledges. As the building begins to fly, the center living/dining room has a deck that extends toward the water. The plan continues to step down and into the daylight basement at the low point. Granite steps then follow the grade down to the shore.