Shakespeare first popularized the phrase, “The world is your oyster.” That’s certainly the case in Osterville (originally “Oysterville”) on Cape Cod … that is, if you’re the owner of Osterville Captain’s Compound. In 2014, the immense residence and companion buildings sold for $13 million, earning it the honor of being the #1 Luxury Home Sale in Massachusetts.
Built in the 1890s, the home — which overlooks scenic Nantucket Sound — was not living up to its full potential. Its primary façade was disorganized, and its indoor orientation failed to showcase the property’s incredible ocean vistas. Award-winning architect Patrick Ahearn FAIA was called in to renovate, reorient and re-invent Osterville Captain’s Compound to create a grand summer cottage reminiscent of 1920s New England.
To accomplish such a major feat, Ahearn’s plan of action consisted of both major restoration and renovation to the original home and boathouse, as well as construction of a new carriage house with guest quarters, a boat folly/changing area and a pool. The home’s original integrity remained unblemished, yet was enhanced with a new addition to the left side. Ahearn and his team added a second gambrel element on the right side of the house to create harmony and implied symmetry. Following the same lines, the beach folly was designed as a miniature version of the main home. It serves as a convenient changing area located halfway between the main structure and the complex’s private beach.
Ahearn reversed the home’s orientation with a new spine of rooms flowing seamlessly into each other, brilliantly unveiling stunning views through mulled windows or French doors. The rear porch is accessible from almost any room, muddling the delineation between indoor and outdoor space and synchronizing its connection with Nature. With its removable screens and outdoor fireplace, this additional living space can be used nearly year round.
Osterville Captain’s Compound — with its spacious and classically tailored interior, multiple exterior living areas, inviting gardens, widow’s walk, pool and auxiliary buildings — is another example of Patrick Ahearn’s architectural genius … and deserving of its hefty price tag.
The property includes the main home, a boat house, a beach folly, and a detached carriage house which is strategically placed to serve both the motor court and the pool area.
There are a total of four main outdoor living spaces including the private garden near the front entrance, the pool area located to the side of the home, the brick terrace spanning the rear exterior of the main home off the significant enclosed porch with removable screens, and a private terrace off of the master suite, set back for enhanced privacy.
The formally indoor-oriented home was re-organized to create a new spine of rooms that flow smoothly, one to the other, and all oriented to take advantage of the beautiful vistas. The rear porch can now be accessed by almost any room, which extends the limits of the interior and creates a stronger connection to nature.
The double height atrium of the great room was preserved creating an upper gallery open to below. On the second floor, there are a total of six bedrooms, a laundry room, and a common den with access to two decks on the left side of the home overlooking the pool. Four of the six bedrooms share a common “Jack and Jill” bathroom. The two remaining bedrooms have a private bath.
Significant landscaping was added to emphasize the anticipation of arrival. The driveway was realigned with the center of the home and an arrival court was introduced in the front yard.
The additional wing was designed to keep with the home’s original architectural style and to provide an implied symmetry, although it is not completely symmetrical. A new portico draws attention to the front
Ahearn’s team added two new wings, one with the master suite and the other with a screened porch, an extended kitchen and pantry. The outside brick patio offers open air entertaining while the screened in rear porch provides shade or optional shelter from inclement weather while still being able to enjoy the outdoors.
The rear porch was designed with removable screens to allow for the extension of the brick patio.
Carriage House and Pool
The newly constructed carriage house is located to the left of the main home, close to the service entrance. The visible side of the carriage house facing the pool has two barn doors that open to reveal an outdoor wet bar. Located behind the carriage house are two outdoor, pergola covered showers and additional room for storage.
The pool area is completely screened by a white fence, significant landscaping, and the side façade of the main home and the carriage house. One of the two additions is visible in the top photo including the annexation of the smaller gambrel providing access to two second floor decks with chippendale railings to enhance the character of the home.
Great Room (Before & After)
The great room looked more like a hunting lodge in the Adirondacks than a beach house on Cape Cod. The walls wore dark-stained paneling and there wasn’t any access to the outdoors. The renovation maintained the unique character of the home however, the dark stain was lightened and the woodwork was minimized and muted as to register as a warm monotone.
The former “indoor-oriented house” was transformed to maximize the ocean views and to better integrate the outdoors. Three French doors with sidelights access the screened rear porch. Keeping the doors ajar creates a stronger connection to the outdoors. As the formal first impression to the home, the moment you step through the door, your eyes are directed through the space to the outdoors.
The kitchen incorporates a myriad of materials and textures. The warm natural wood base of the island mimics the floors while providing a contrast against the cool Carrera marble top. Alternatively, the main kitchen cabinets are a creamy white matching the trim and contrasting with the black soapstone counter top matching the light fixtures above the sink and island. Lastly, the appliances and stove hood are kept in a steel finish.
Removable screens allow the rear porch to be used nearly year round. Accessible from multiple rooms, its brick floor and shingled walls provide a seamless transition to outdoors.
The rear porch can be accessed from nearly every primary living space through a total of five French doors. The large rear porch offers a choice of distinct areas in which to settle, and a wonderful enfilade appears, visually connecting the morning room to the office. The screens can be removed, leaving the water facing facade supported by two shingled columns.
This room holds four of the six restored mahogany paneled doors found in the original home. The architectural elements - crown molding, frieze, full-height paneling, cased beams, doorways, and paneled doors - are all straight lines however their three dimensional form captures light and shadow, contributing depth and character. The various forms of wood including raw, stained, and painted, celebrate a distinct American material.