A Somesville Retreat With Glam, Treehouse Vibes

And a sweeping, bird’s eye view.

A home Somerville, Maine with a peaked souther gable inspired by an A-frame.
Photo by Brian Vanden Brink
By Sarah Stebbins
From the Summer 2023 issue of Maine Homes by Down East

Perched among thick pines and spruces, Drs. Steven and Diane Plattses’ Somesville retreat reads like the most magnificent tree house you’ve ever seen. A 26-foot-tall grid of glass on the precipitously peaked southern gable, inspired by an A-frame Diane’s grandfather built in Massachusetts, provides a sweeping, aerial view of the Babson Creek salt marsh. Northeast Harbor architect William Hanley juxtaposed the triangular form with long shingled sidewalls that stretch back into the site, minimizing the building’s visual impact on the forest. Bar Harbor builder Kyle Richardson aligned cedar roof shingles with the wall cladding, creating a monolithic riff on colonial New England cottages. A pair of shed dormers and a massive granite fireplace puncture the roof on the west side, where bedrooms are sequestered, while a 6-by-12-foot glass roof panel beams light through the dining area on the eastern façade. “The house is a lot about the roof,” Hanley says. “We wanted to penetrate that and provide a different experience that relates to the glazing on the south side.” A spot he likens to the bow of a ship trained on a watery horizon line.

May 2024, Down East Magazine

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