MERRYMEETING REFUGE

words NANCY L. BARBA, AIA, LEED AP
photography DARREN SETLOW

Nancy L. Barba, AIA, LEED AP

Situated on a high rise of land

                                                                                  set back from the Kennebec River, this North Bath house has a long, panoramic view of the Kennebec River and islands near Merrymeeting Bay.

Built in the early 2000s, the original owner embraced the handbuilt zeitgeist of the 1980s Arts and Crafts wood trend of the time, with a cacophony of wood species throughout the house.

The new owner, Meredith McGuire, was enthusiastic about the views and the quality of materials but knew that to make the house livable for her family, she would need to do select projects throughout the house.

The owner's bedroom was small, and its dated bathroom, with a raised soaking tub, served awkwardly as a passageway to the only outdoor deck living space. The two-story passive solar living room, while a stunning feature, left little room on the second floor for view-facing rooms. A separate rental apartment took up the southwest corner of the second floor, and the southeast corner was a small, unused loft.

The former apartment was converted to a new en-suite primary bedroom, and where the loft had been, we inserted a separate bathroom for her two teenage girls.

As architects, we felt a need to respect the good features of the past, but we also wanted to neutralize the dated feeling from the overabundance of wood, choosing instead to go with predominately drywall and painted features. McGuire, who once owned a store selling locally made, sustainable home goods, brought an eye for creative finds such as the unique mirrors in each of the bathrooms. Contractor Mark Wild and his crew of carpenters and subcontractors brought it all together with their workmanship and supervision. Kirk Douglass, talented neighbor-of-all-trades, helped with myriad other projects to bring the vision to life.

. . .

PROJECT TEAM
Architect
Barba + Wheelock Architecture
barbawheelock.com

Contractor
G. M. Wild Construction, Inc.
Mark Wild, owner
gmwild.com

. . .

Favorite …
Comfort food and time of day or night you most
enjoy eating it?
Frozen custard during the day when I’m passing
the Route 1 stand!

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