LLB Architects, Nat Rea (photo)

Swede Hill House

Architecture Firm: Estes/Twombly Architects, Inc.Location: Block Island, RI Category: Residential Architecture

Block Island’s modest, forthright farmhouses with adjoining sheds and barns are an example of a truly regional architecture. Their low-scale and thoughtful siting serve to block the relentless winds and their weathered materials blend into the rugged landscape.

This time-tested connected building type is adopted for the Swede Hill House.

Here though, the three buildings, housing a great room, 3 bedrooms and a guest house, are folded around a courtyard to create a sheltered outdoor space on this high, windy site. The buildings are kept low and are clad in granite, cedar shingles, and copper – all materials that develop a weathered patina over time and that require minimal upkeep.