Camden, Maine


The client wanted a low-key, modern two-bedroom house with an indoor lap pool. True, his surname makes you think he might veer toward something grander and more traditional, but O. Stillman Rockefeller has an experimental streak and so spurned “the tyranny of the Shingle Style” prevalent in coastal Maine. His site of less than an acre, however, presented a challenge: a narrow, sloping parcel in Camden, overlooking West Penobscot Bay. But Rockefeller found New York–based architect Toshiko Mori to solve the problem. “We had to provide maximum views of the water without the owner being able to see neighboring houses,” she says. “It had to be strictly framed.”

Bringing in Michael Van Valken­burgh Associates to compose the landscaping artfully, the client and architect decided to place the guest quarters and garage at the top of the hill, on the foundations of a former house. Mori came up with a Z-shaped plan that descends the slope so that the main house is at the lower end. An enclosed 82-foot-long lap pool links the two volumes of the 5,400-square-foot complex.

Mori, who had worked for Edward Larrabee Barnes, particularly admired that architect’s strategy for the Haystack Mountain School in Deer Isle, Maine (1962), where a cluster of wood pavilions spills down a forested hillside to Jericho Bay. “Ed broke up the program into a series of volumes connected by a deck,” notes Mori. “Here, the pool is the connector.”

Her zigzag steel-and-wood frame building, with a sedum roof, is clad in white Atlantic cedar, alternating with large expanses of low-E glass. An overhang shades the living-dining area and the master bedroom on the east, and the house employs geothermal heat pumps and other features to lower energy use. But despite Rockefeller’s love for the house, he had a big problem with the outdoor lighting from a neighbor’s cottage and nearby lighthouse and so sold his only 1-year-old home last year. Still, he says, “I’m so proud of building this house. It’s Toshiko’s signature work.”


Owner: Private

Toshiko Mori Architect, PLLC
199 Lafayette St. Suite 5a
New York, New York
T: 212.337.9644
F: 212.3373.9647

Personnel in architect's firm who should receive special credit:
Toshiko Mori, FAIA – Principal
Justin Sumner Brown, AIA – Project Architect

Structural Engineer: Rod Gibble Consulting Engineers
Civil Engineer: Mohr & Seredin
MEP Engineer: Innovative Construction and Design Solutions
Geotechnical Engineer: S.W.Cole Engineering
Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates, Inc

General contractor:
Cold Mountain Builders

Paul Warchol

© Toshiko Mori Architect

CAD system, project management, or other software used:

Rhino, AutoCAD

Gross square footage:

5,400 Sq.ft.

Total construction cost:

Withheld at owner's request

Completion date:

August 2013



Structural system
Guest House: Wood framing on existing concrete foundation.
Main House + Pool: Hybrid Steel and wood framing on new concrete foundation.

Manufacturer of any structural components unique to this project:
Rockport Steel Inc.

Exterior cladding
Masonry: North Jay Granite

Metal/glass curtain wall: YKK YCW 750. Installation by Oakes & Parkhurst.

Rainscreen : Atlantic White Cedar

Carlisle EPDM with 4” shallow green roof assembly

Metal frame: YKK YCW 750. Installation by Oakes & Parkhurst.

Glass: Guardian SunGuard 1” IGU, Clear Glass, Low-E coating

Skylights: Wasco Products

Entrances: YKK 350T glass balcony swing doors and 600T sliding glass doors

Wood doors: CUSTOM

Sliding doors: CUSTOM

Locksets: d line

Pulls: d line

Interior finishes
Cabinetwork and custom woodwork:
Prime: Bench Dogs
Kitchen: Jesse Brown-Collins

Floor and wall tile:
Pool Deck: 8”x16” North Jay Granite
Pool Walls: 1”x1” ceramic, American Olean

Wood Floor: 4” solid White Birchby A.E. Sampson & Son Ltd.

Carpet: Woodnotes, Paper Yarn

Living Room:
Wilhelm Lauritzen, Radiohus Sofa with Fanny Aaronson 717 upholstery
Finn Juhl, Cocktail Table with white laminate top and oak frame
Finn Juhl, Pelican Chair with oak base and Outback 111 upholstery
Hans Wegner, Papa Bear Arm chair with oak base and Divina Melange 120 upholstery
Hans Wegner, Fruit Bowl in Ash
Arne Jacobsen, AJ floor lamp in white
Isamu Noguchi, Akari 10A lamp

Dining Room:
Arne Jacobsen, Series 7 bar stools in white lacquer
Arne Jacobsen, Series 7 dining chairs in Beech
Arne Jacobsen, B614 dining table in Beech
Poul Henningsen, Large Artichoke Glass Chandelier

Arne Jacobsen, Egg Chair with SS base and Divina Melange 120 upholstery

Exterior Deck:
Richard Schultz, 1966 End Table in White Porcelain
Richard Schultz, 1966 Dining Chair with arms in White Porcelain

Supplier: Furniture from Scandinavia by Annette Rachlin

Interior ambient lighting: Bartco linear T5 fluorescent cove uplights

Downlights: USAI Recessed Halogen

Task lighting: Boca Flasher Linear LED

Exterior: Lucifer Recessed Halogen

Dimming System or other lighting controls: Lutron Maestro

Energy management or building automation system:
Master Controls system: Innovative Construction & Design Solutions, LLC
Geothermal: Envision
Solar Hot Water: American Solar Works
Radiant Floor Heating: QuikTrak
Window Actuator: Clearline Sleekline