Tim Thurman did not just design and build an addition for the house at Sunset Rock in Gloucester. He celebrated its past, enshrined its defining feature, and almost certainly saved it. The addition includes roof-mounted solar panels.
Originally just 1,300 square feet, the 1904 cottage in Annisquam is a picture-postcard example of English Arts and Crafts style. Designed and built by Charles Harvey, who applied his architecture training to this one summer home before becoming a Swedenborgian minister, it features prominent eave brackets, arched transom windows, high dark oak wainscoting, and red cedar shingle cladding.
The house’s most salient feature is the enormous granite rock that has always been a part of its foundation — the house was literally bolted to the rock with steel rods in 1904. Tim made Sunset Rock itself a powerful feature of the new front hall, where it bulges out from under the stairs. “Originally we wanted to enclose the rock, but it grew on us,” says Tim. “The curve is a lovely form.”
The old living room and bedrooms are as before, though restored.
a handsome new kitchen ...
and dining area ...
and a master bedroom with en suite bath.
The new rooms feature “roasted’’ red oak flooring, walnut counters, and European beech cabinetry. Exposed beams are suspended from black metal strap hangers, and visible metal tie rods are part of the massive wood trusses made by Bensonwood, a Walpole, N.H., company.
“You don’t tear down old houses like this,” says Tim, pictured with wife Cheryl. “But it was small and in rough shape. We saw that if we added to the south side, we would get great solar gain, bring the house down to the ground level, have sunny new space, and do it all without zoning issues.”
The Thurmans enjoy morning tea on one of their terraces.
The 1,500-square-foot addition wraps around the original house.