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New Cape home is beachy, but also toasty warm

The Brewster home with ocean views features an open floor plan, airy bedrooms, a glass second-floor landing and an elegant screened-in porch.dan cutrona

With inspiring views of Cape Cod Bay, the homeowners knew that this two-acre plot in Brewster was the site for their dream home.

“They lived in an apartment over the garage for 10 years, biding their time and planning,” says architect Alison Alessi of A3 Architects in Dennis.

When they were finally ready to build, the homeowners looked to Alessi to design a home that evokes an open, lofty barn with three distinct forms. It was also essential that the structure have zero net energy consumption, meaning the total energy used annually is roughly equal to the amount of renewable energy created by solar panels on the South-facing roof.


“The house is super insulated, with 12-inches of insulation on the walls and roof,” says Alessi. The house runs entirely on electricity. Three different mini-spilt electric heat pumps located in different areas of the home provide heating and cooling.

“To track energy consumption you have to look at how the home performs over a year,” says Alessi. “In December, you will use more energy than you produce, but the opposite is true in June.”

When it came to aesthetics the homeowners required that the 2,500-square foot house feel open and filled with light. The crowning achievement is a striking glass stairwell. “It’s a sculptural moment and it works to bounce light from the second floor windows down into the living area,” says Alessi.

Open yet defined

The home’s central barn form encompasses the living, kitchen, and dining areas along with the guest bedrooms on the second floor. While the double-height living room is open to the kitchen and dining area, the generous fireplace in the center of the room defines the areas as distinct spaces. With white wood cladding and a raised unstained wood hearth that recalls the thick beams of a working barn, the two-sided fireplace has openings covered with glass on both sides making it possible to heat each area of the room, while maintaining a connection between the spaces.


Minimal and masterful

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The second barn form is to the left of the living area and comprises the master suite, which includes a spacious bathroom and gym along with the bedroom. (The third barn is on the other side of the living area and contains a large mudroom and laundry area.) Bedroom walls are painted a soothing green that complements the white trim and cherry flooring. Ceilings soar to 15 feet helping to make the room feel more spacious and airy.

Blurred boundaries

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A screened-in porch provides a place to dine al fresco. Extra-wide sliding doors off of the main entry, along with the same grey tile flooring as the entry way, allows the space to feel connected to the interior. The table and chairs are made by Kingsley-Bate.

A perfect perch

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The second story glass landing overlooks Cape Cod Bay, making it the homeowners’ (and their lovable dog, Leo) favorite place to take in the view. “The glass has blues and greens that are complementary to the ocean,” says Alessi. To add textural dimension, the wall along the stairway is clad floor to ceiling with stone. The stone has a beachy sand color to it. It’s warm and light. “It suits the space really well,” says Alessi.

Jaci Conry can be reached at jaci@jaciconry.com.