Paradise Avenue House
29. September 2014
Rhode Island may be the smallest state in the U.S., but its architecture has warranted studies by historians Henry-Russell Hitchcock in Rhode Island Architecture and Vincent Scully in The Shingle Style with the Stick Style. The latter is mentioned by architects Estes/Twombly in reference to their design of a house on Paradise Avenue in Newport. The house commendably bridges the modern and the traditional in its spaces, materials and forms. The architects answered a few questions about the house.
What were the circumstances of receiving the commission for this project?
The client contacted us after learning about Estes/Twombly by word of mouth.
Please provide an overview of the project.
Paradise Avenue is a mile long, ending at a popular surfing beach. It’s a picturesque, but busy road lined with old stone walls and generously spaced houses set well back from the street.
Setbacks from a stream toward the rear of the property required placing the house close to the road. The challenge was dealing with the attendant noise and lack of privacy in a way that allowed the client to enjoy the outdoors.
Pergola off living room
We used a series of layers, including both landscape and architectural elements to filter out the noise and views from the street. The rebuilt stone wall, reflecting street noise, was our first line of defense, backed up by a privet hedge to absorb sound and create privacy. The façade of the house itself is drawn out along the road by a garage on one side mirrored by a porch and trellis on the other side. The driveway becomes a linear courtyard, reinforcing the separation of public and private spaces.
In contrast to the linear, closed front, the rear is open with the interiors spilling out into the yard. Outdoor rooms are created with the use of trellis work and stone paving.
How would you describe the architecture of Rhode Island and how does the building relate to it?
Rhode Island is well known for its shingled form buildings as well as the classic shingle style houses made famous by Vincent Scully. This house is a continuation of that tradition.
Email interview conducted by John Hill.
Ground floor plan
Upper floor plan
Paradise Avenue House
Middleton, Rhode Island
James F. Estes, FAIA
Loren Yoder, Yoder & Tidwell, Ltd
Rick Messier, Messier Construction
Englert Standing Seam
Ingo Maurer, Stonco, Tech, Lightolier