Winkelman Architecture

Submarine Lookout Tower

Peaks Island, Maine


Photography: Darel Bridges, Winkelman

Builder: Bill Bunton

Whitten Architects project: Winkelman lead

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Site Conditions

Existing World War II era 3-story 16' x 26' submarine look-out tower on a former military reservation. The lot is on Peaks Island's backshore with northeasterly water views.

Client Program

Contemporary residence for a couple using open plan living. Their goal was for a 3 bedroom, 2 1/2 bath layout that maximized views, was daylighted and felt connected to the land.

Design Response

We chose to embed the new into the old with living and bedroom spaces integrated into the existing tower. The bunker proved resistant to development because of its low floor to ceiling heights, 12" thick concrete walls, 6" thick reinforced floor slabs that required mid-span reinforcement, and the fact that the tower's posture on the site set-up to block southerly daylight on this northeasterly view oriented site. In plan, the addition(s) is twisted 12 degrees to reorient properly to the water view and to articulate the new from the existing.

The rear 2-story addition captures southerly daylight and bounces it into the tower through large, flush cut openings cut on the bunker