For decades dating back to the 1930s, Scarborough Beach in the coastal peninsula of Maine has been the backdrop of several getaways for the Black family. Following his grandfather’s footsteps, Andrew and Sheila Black decided to settle down in the community of Prouts Neck after finding a property that showcased the ideal foundation for a generational family home where relatives could come and gather comfortably. Tearing down and building anew, the result was a spacious coastal retreat completed in 2020 with plenty of space for large family gatherings and aluminum clad folding glass walls that open the residence to the waves just past their front porch.
Coastal Building with Aluminum Clad Folding Glass Walls
“We wanted to add to the shoreline and have our house fit in—not just with Prouts Neck’s history, but the history of Maine architecture,” said Sheila for Home and Design Magazine. To achieve this, the couple enlisted the expertise of Trevor Watson from Eider Investments, a local design-build company that focuses on coastal properties. The existing home was demolished to build anew keeping the family recreational needs in mind as well as local building factors. Sea-level impacts, foundation elevations, and winterization were eventually considered in the final design. Inspired by historic New England architecture, the new home perfectly blends traditional elements with contemporary features like aluminum clad folding glass walls.
Preserving Traditional Coastal Charm
Customary to the traditional homes in the area, the entire envelope of the residence was adorned with cedar shingles with the knowledge that over time, they would weather into a soft silver hue. Strategically placed gables, chimneys specified with stone veneer, and additional architectural and design features like wood framed white windows and movable glass walls give the property the appearance of an old home. These design elements were also applied to the spacious guest/pool house in the backyard. “It’s understated with high-quality design—not flamboyant or flashy,” said Watson. “I’m probably partial, but I think these are some of the nicest pieces of coastal property on the eastern seaboard.”
Inside, interior designer Louise Hurlbutt suggested the nickel-gap wood paneling for the walls to complement the imported antique wood flooring. She also worked with the architect to create the coffered ceiling in the great room as well as the striking curved staircase leading to the second floor. These architectural elements, along with the large operable glass openings, make the interior living spaces complete without the need for additional wall art or paintings. The interior color pallet and design features pay tribute to the ocean waves just outside the moveable glass walls. “Louise’s spatial conceptualization and sense of proportion are brilliant,” said Sheila. “She mapped out the spaces to within an inch in every room, maximizing flow and multifunctional space.”
Ocean Waves Become Center Stage
“People are like moths,” said Watson, “but instead of going towards lamps, they flock to the ocean views.” Taking full advantage of its waterfront location, the home was strategically oriented towards the coast with extensive fenestration framing the landscape in every room. The large windows were specified with six muntins on top and one on the bottom to match the traditional aesthetic and offer uninterrupted views. Downstairs, the main entrance was strategically placed underneath the staircase, parallel to a large operable glass wall framing the ocean waters, to create a “wow” moment as soon as guests walked in.
The Aluminum Clad Folding Glass Walls
“I had never heard of NanaWall before,” said Andrew. “But I was very interested in them, and how they could work for a New England home, with the nor’easters.” Three NanaWall aluminum clad folding glass walls open the ocean-facing façade to the coast and create seamless transitions to the outdoors. The left-facing living area features a fourth system, parallel to the other, to create a breezeway home effect and unobstructed views to the ocean when lounging in the infinity-sized pool. Additionally, there is a fifth system in the pool house that doubles as a guest house or whatever else the family may need. All movable glass walls were customized with divided lites and powder-coated in white to match the home’s fenestration and overall aesthetics.
The Best of Both Worlds in a Folding Glass Wall
Ideal for coastal living, weather-performing aluminum frames on the outside protect the home from the elements while the elegance of wood inside complements the rest of the home’s traditional features. Offering the latest innovation in clad technology, Generation 4 Folding Glass Wall NW Clad 740 offers the slimmest frames in the market, advanced energy efficiency, and sustainably harvested single species wood. Quadruple laminated wood adds durability while clip-on cladding technology allows the wood to breathe, especially in areas of high humidity. What more could you ask for?
Year-Round Recreation for the Entire Family
Since the completion of the home in 2020, the family has avidly gathered at the property whenever possible. Custom built to their needs, the residence successfully blends traditional architecture with contemporary features like the movable glass walls that open the entire ocean-facing side to the cool ocean breeze and outdoor amenities. Elevating the entire experience, the indoor and outdoor spaces become one, maximizing the recreational possibilities and uniting the family to their beloved Scarborough Bay. “When our family comes to Prouts, we never want to leave,” says Andrew. “The house is filled with happiness.”
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