Architecture and landscape are closely linked through a neatly ordered sequence of parterres, flagstone terraces, grassy tiers and walkways that reach out from the house and extend into the sloping terrain. It’s almost as if the descending levels were filters for the natural spring waters that run through this 1.5-acre property and drain into the harbor below. Local zoning required the architects to work within a pre-existing footprint so that the ghost of an older house lies buried within the bones of the new, 6,000-square-foot structure. Free-standing concrete walls rise like remnants of a ruin, along the west and north sides, echoing the outlines of the original house and extending the architecture further into the landscape. A footpath meanders through beds of liriope and pachysandra, beneath a Chinese maple and down to the water’s edge. Earth and plants are held in place by Corten-steel retaining walls. The heart of the interior is a wedge-shaped foyer that rises two stories while tapering to a narrow termination, creating the illusion of expanded depth––a kind of false perspective––drawing the eye inward toward the honey-warm luminosity of the living room and outward towards the greenery of the garden terrace. “The house becomes a crystal cube that reflects the sky and trees,” said Rob Barnes. “If you’re inside, it’s fully transparent.”

“The house becomes a crystal cube that reflects the sky and trees.”