From Dean Dowd on December 01, 2010 in Green Remodeling
You hear “writer’s hut” and you think perhaps of Thoreau on Walden Pond—or Tolstoy, in the latter years. But this writer’s hut featured on Dwell is anything but antiquated. On a 0.7-square-mile island 20 miles off the coast of Maine, Bruce Porter and his architect daughter Alex Scott Porter built a green and modern haven.
When the Porters first came to the area in 1971, Bruce was already harboring desires to build something. A journalist and retired professor at the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, Bruce was busy—and it wasn’t until the 1990s that he seriously considered a construction project. (“If not now, when?” Bruce asked himself.)
It wasn’t until Bruce divorced, remarried, and adopted his third daughter, Hana, that he began to build. By that time, his daughter Alex had grown up and started her own architecture firm Alex Scott Porter Design—and Bruce wanted her vision.
She devised a dwelling that takes in ocean views while protecting the cottage. As opposed to mainland construction projects, this home was build without power tools, and with a riding lawnmower to haul the materials back and forth.
The tiny kitchen features a Sunfrost refrigerator, a cool, modern appliance that blends right into the geometry of the space.
Plus, the entire home is powered by this small solar array, keeping Bruce’s footprint minimal.
Talk about aesthetics. In a spot in the world where technology has seemed to regress rather than advance (pleasantly), the Porters use a personal generator, solar panels, and on-demand water heater. The rooms smell of fresh pine.
Here, a rainwater catchment system collects water for the outdoor shower, but filters out the dirtier H2O.
With the cabin in working condition for the first time this season, Bruce plans to go out for a month to write in solitude. In simplicity. Thoreau couldn’t have asked for more.