South Water Greek Revival Cottage

Edgartown Village Historic District, MA

On Martha’s Vineyard, this urban island village compound dances with tradition while providing a more contemporary attitude within. Designed for a couple with disparate tastes, the property successfully presents classically themed architecture while meeting the ask for a more modern take on island living.

Developed to intentionally blend with the local vernacular, the perfectly proportioned Greek Revival main home looks as though it could have stood forever, and is positioned adjacent to a detached carriage house. By allowing the main house to lead, and stepping down the massing of additional structures, an historically inspired narrative is supported. Materials including cedar shingling on the exterior and roof, exposed stone, white trim, and thematically appropriate shutters all make for a credible timeless composition.

Within its walls, the residence tells the story of a long-standing home that has been added onto and reimagined over the years. Exposed reclaimed beams, wide plank floors, architectural crown molding, and beadboard add to the property’s implied history, while contemporary choices including the interior staircase indicate a much more modern feel. The interior program overall leans towards modern day living. A large open concept kitchen and living area, for example, were designed in lieu of formal living and dining rooms so the couple could entertain as they wish today.

On the exterior, the program was carefully considered to appreciate the seasons on the Vineyard. A pool is supported by cabana space within the carriage house, while a three-season porch featuring a substantial wood-burning fireplace can be used year-round. Fencing and landscaping conceal the dynamic program, adding privacy and seclusion to an otherwise vibrant corner lot.