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Weidlinger House

Designed by pioneering engineer Paul Weidlinger and built in 1953, this house has been vacant and in danger of demolition since the late 1990s. In 2012 CCMHT obtained a lease and has begun restoration which will conclude by summer 2014.

From a boat on the pond, Paul Weidlinger’s summer house looks like a white box floating high above the ground. Like his friend Breuer’s house, across the pond, it serves as a hovering platform for viewing nature. Anchored on concrete piers at the higher end of the slope, the house shoots out over stilts of increasing height until it is suspended in midair for a commanding view.

In another cue from Breuer, Weidlinger visibly divided the house into public and private sections. The bedroom zone has fairly enclosed stud-walls, while the large living area, is an open post-and-beam structure with facade sections that are fully glazed or fully solid surrounded on three sides by a shaded veranda accessed from a Corbusian ramp. Steel X bracing—soon to be repainted its original yellow—carry the structural forces to the ground. Standing like a 3-D structural diagram, the house offers a glimpse into the thought process of one of the twentieth century’s great structural designers. There are three bedrooms and one bath, access to ponds and a short walk to the ocean beach.
It’s hard to describe the setting of the Hatch Cottage, with it’s panoramic view of the bay, perched on the edge of a kettle hole, with a vernal pool below, and it’s untrammeled west facing hillside which takes in the sunset over the water. Because it’s in the National Seashore, surrounding development has been frozen since its construction. The cottage itself is a matrix of cubes. Some are single and some combine to make bigger shared spaces. The cubes are connected by outdoor decks which seem to dematerialise due to the decking being laid on edge; making the whole seem to hover a few feet above the ground. The rooms open and close with shutters of different sizes to regulate temperature, air and sun. There are two rooms with queen sized beds, a bunk room, one bath, a lovely path to a generally un-occupied bay beach and access to many trails through the woods.

ARCHITECT

Paul Weidlinger

 

 

YEAR

1953

Cape Cod Modern House Trust
PO Box 1191
South Wellfleet, MA 02663
email: capemodern@gmail.com

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