Architect Ken Pursley looked to early American churches, barns, and the surrounding rural landscape when designing this timeless retreat on Maryland's Upper Eastern Shore.
Tucked in a grove of trees on the bank of the Chester River sits a small cottage where architect Ken Pursley married practicality with beauty and form with function. "We wanted to create something simple and sturdy enough to weather the climate and also complement the idyllic location," says Ken. The cottage's shape and layout reference the basilica forms often seen in historic American Carpenter Gothic churches and barns. The steep metal roof of the main center section is practical for heavy snows and visually serves as a counterpoint to the shallow-pitched roofs of the side sections, giving the structure its graphic composition. The subtle silver- and wheat-colored palette comes from the surroundings. Ken chose a brick exterior with stucco veneer, accented with stained cedar, for its low maintenance as well as its tendency to look better with age. "Much like denim or leather, it will become more beautiful as it wears," he says. "That contributes to its 'always been there' feel."