Architect: Jack Hall
Duck Harbour Cottage, Cape Cod, USA
From approx £2,100
‘Yankee ingenuity meets Modernist simplicity’
The experimental cottage was designed by Jack Hall in the 1960s for Robert Hatch, an editor of The Nation and his wife Ruth, a painter.
The house consists of separate cubes, brought together by a wooden superstructure: large shutters surround each side, providing protection in the winter and shade in the summer.
There are three bedrooms, two queen-size and one with bunks, and one bathroom. The rooms open and close with shutters of different sizes to regulate temperature, air and light.
The house has panoramic views of the bay, and is perched on the edge of a kettle hole, with a vernal pool below. It also has an unrestricted, west-facing hillside view that takes in the sunset over the water. Development on the surrounding National Seashore has been frozen since the cottage was constructed, allowing for peace and seclusion.
The cottage itself is a matrix of cubes, connected by outdoor decks which seem to de-materialise due to the decking being laid on edge, making the whole cottage seem to hover a few feet above the ground. There is also access to a generally unoccupied beach and to many trails through the woods.
Positioned on the Outer Cape, the house is close to some of the best beaches in America. The Cape has long been a popular holiday destination, and has inspired visitors like Edward Hopper who spent ‘40 of his 84 summers’ there, as well as Henry David Thoreau and the Kennedy family.
The nearest town, Wellfleet, is well known for its art galleries and seafood. Further up the Cape is Provincetown, one of the oldest artists’ colonies in the US, which retains a unique character, and is a popular destination for shopping and dining.
Between 1930 and 1970, more than 100 houses were built around Wellfleet and Truro by a variety of architects and designers, many of them refugees from Europe who had taken posts at East Coast universities like Yale and Harvard.
The houses and cottages were designed to be rural retreats, and the Cape was selected for its spectacular, unspoiled landscape. The group included Walter Gropius, founder of the Bauhaus, his former student Marcel Breuer and Serge Chermayeff, one of the architects behind the De La Warr Pavilion in East Sussex.
Flights to Boston Logan International Airport, train or car to Wellfleet.
Jun $2,750 per week
Jul-Aug $3,750 per week
Sep $2,750 per week
Please note that all areas, measurements and distances given in these particulars are approximate and rounded. The text, photographs and floor plans are for general guidance only. The Modern House has not tested any services, appliances or specific fittings — prospective purchasers are advised to inspect the property themselves. All fixtures, fittings and furniture not specifically itemised within these particulars are deemed removable by the vendor.