the steep, narrow seaside site
dictated that Ken and Dee Gray’s
Maine home be built on pilings, a
simple and elegant architectural
solution and quite an engineering
and construction feat.
written by edgar allen beem • photographed by trent bell
Water, Water Everywhere
On the Maine coast, Elliott & Elliott Architecture designs a house over the sea
The coast of Maine is lined with elegant houses beside the sea, but homes over the sea are something rare. Normally, state shoreland zoning and federal flood plain regulations prohibit building right to or even over the water, but in special cases, such as when existing structures sit on pilings or sea walls, an exception may be made. That’s the case with the shipshape house Elliott & Elliott Architecture of Blue Hill, Maine, designed as a second home for Ken and Dee Gray.
The Grays’ snug, one-story, 1,450-square-foot home is built on 20 concrete-filled piers as it
hangs over a bay not far from Blue Hill. From a distance, the flat-topped little building with its
central clerestory popping up beneath a shed roof might be mistaken for a fish shack or boathouse,
but it is in fact a two-bedroom house that is a fine example of the high-style minimalism that characterizes much of Elliott & Elliott’s work.
48 DESIGN NEW ENGLAND NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2016