Kotchen’s quest for simplicity often brought
him before Nantucket’s preservation board.
Though he was not attempting anything remotely avant-garde, he did
have to explain that elements such as unadorned window frames and
plain balcony banisters were actually more authentic than what passes
for typical Nantucket architecture today. “Back in the day, before they
had money to embellish things, homes were very simple,” he notes.
“That simple architecture has been so bastardized on Cape Cod and
the islands. The massing of homes is all over the place. Gambrels smash
into gables that smash into Greek Revival elements. It’s become more
about programmatic requirements like getting in your fifteen bathrooms
and ten bedrooms.”
Thankfully, that was not the program here. Instead, the elemental
sensation of inhabiting spaces that feel completely one with the natural
environment make it clear that Kotchen’s persistence paid off.
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