a prototype for carriage house rehabilitation
Cape May, NJ | 500+ sf compact guest house by the beach
A forthcoming built project by the beach in Cape May, New Jersey, Stowaway House replaces an existing carriage house in disrepair with a part-gear- and part-guest-house. The site is within the Cape May Historic District, deemed a National Historic Landmark and one of the nation’s earliest resort towns. As such, the project must creatively merge with the style of the neighborhood, dominated by early Victorian and Craftsman homes and typified by properties with similarly coupled main and auxiliary structures. The design addresses a pair of needs: accommodate guest space for a small family as well as provide storage for beach gear for owners of the main house within a tight site defined by significant constraints – the immediate boundaries of the property lot line on two sides and the deck of the main house on the other. The exterior quietly and smoothly relates to the context, concealing a dynamic hyper-articulated interior.
Dualities permeate the design: the twin peaks of the gable roof legislate exposure to neighbors on two opposing edges; the lower level is thick and enclosed by surfaces of varied depth that celebrate containing space for beach gear and guests while the thinness of the upper lofts produces a pair of spaces of escape; the perceptible flux of beach gear within introduces contingent temporal effects to the interior and is put in tension with the visible, regular rhythm of the wood frame structure.