his is a building of a somewhat duplicitous
nature, but it’s a ruse with an honest purpose. Set in an established neighborhood
on Martha’s Vineyard, an island off the
coast of Massachusetts, it appears from
the street as a vernacular shingled Cape
Cod cottage. It has a simple, clean exterior that any historic commission would approve, even with the two-story
glass corner that exposes an open modern staircase and
hints there might be more to the structure than this handsome, if somewhat conventional facade.
Walk to the back of the building, and it is clear why
Ben Kelly of Building Shelter Inc. in Oak Bluffs, Massa-
chusetts, the general contractor on the project, dubbed
it the Half-Glass House. From this vantage point, the
structure morphs into a Modern rectangle with a flat roof
and floor-to-ceiling glass walls on three sides (reminding
some observers of the famous full Glass House by architect
Philip Johnson). Here, old and new do not collide; rather,
convention and innovation gracefully meld, with one seem-
ing a natural extension of the other.
Credit the wily genius of Keith Moskow and Robert
Linn, partners at Moskow Linn Architects of Boston, who
the bluestone floor and wood-clad steel beams add to the
indoor-outdoor sensibility in the living area (above, top). The
more traditional front section of the structure (above, bottom)
has a two-story glass corner that reveals a staircase with floating
steel treads set on a center steel rail.
7 hot tub
2 powder room
5 guest bath
6 roof deck
CON TRACTOR Building Shelter Inc.