place. Indeed, the house has the quality of the famed 19th-century
luminist paintings of the New England coast. A felicitous combination of modernity and frugality, this house is a clear expression of
Estes/Twombly’s design agenda.
“We try to achieve a richness through economy and straightforward detailing,” says Estes, “through letting the materials speak
Using common New England forms, the architects have distilled traditional architecture to its essence. While the tower may make it stand out from
its neighbors, the house responds to its Block Island
site and its blustery climate. It is built of locally avail-
able materials, is environmentally responsible, and, most of all, is a
pleasure to inhabit.
at night, the latticed tower glows like a Japanese lantern. The
base of the tower acts as a ceremonial passageway, connecting
arrival space to the more private inner courtyard. At the second
level, a more enclosed space links guest quarters with the main
living area. The top-level observation deck offers unrivaled views.
Architect Estes/Twombly Architects, Newport, Rhode Island
Builder Highland Builders, Tiverton, Rhode Island
4 tower base
8 master bedroom
2 tower stair
3 upper stair hall
5 dining area
6 living area