Although the commute to Kevin Browne Architecture’s office in Yarmouth was only 25 minutes, the architect sought a closer, more comfortable space on his own property. The result is a simple, sun-filled, energy-efficient space that showcases Browne’s style of mixing old and new in form and materials. Browne teamed up with Dan Meyer of Meyer Development Solutions to construct this 16- by 24-foot structure in a cost-effective way. The floor plan was kept wide open with a cathedral ceiling. A full daylight garage below the office provides overflow storage for the adjacent home. A portion of the open plan carved out for a small bath defines the spaces. Douglas fir beams help lower the height of the tall ceiling. The warmth of natural, rough-cut wood gives the space a cozy feeling, and the beams frame out a space above the work area that supports an 8- by 11-foot net that can be used for overflow sleeping (or as a fun place for the kids to hang out when Dad has to work late).
The simple, understated trim on the interior keeps the focus on the natural features of the rural property through oversized low-e windows. Photovoltaic solar panels on the south-facing roof help to offset the electrical load of the house, as well as totally offsetting the heating and cooling loads of the office. A blowerdoor test was done and an infrared camera was used to make sure all the air leakage areas were sealed up.