Waves of the Future
June 24, 2019
Text by Erika Ayn Finch Photography by Bill Lyons
When Joy Cuming, founder and owner of Aline Architecture in Orleans, first laid eyes on what she calls The Wave House in Wellfleet, she knew she wanted to respect the vision of the home’s original architect, David Savage, while modernizing and expanding the space. Savage, a Frank Lloyd Wright devotee, designed and built the house in the 1970s as his primary residence. He eventually sold the property to a ceramicist and a novelist who, after living in the space for several years, decided they needed more room. The couple reached out to Cuming, who reimagined the home as a grouping of buildings with similar wave-like roof forms.
“We essentially designed a garage with a room above it,” the architect says. “The garage is discreet and subterranean, while the whole structure revolves around a stair tower built at the front. We added a lot of detail, like a breezeway that connects the buildings, and a curved outdoor shower. I used steel purlins to create the wave and used a wooden extension to fashion the eaves.”
Inside the home, the wave pattern is reflected in subtle changes in levels from room to room, creating a cascading, undulating effect. As for that eye-catching stair tower, each of its landings is outfitted with a built-in bookcase so that it acts as a vertical library; the staircase coils up into a cubby where the homeowners’ grandchildren would congregate when they were younger.
“It’s a very playful house,” says Cuming. “I redeveloped the home as a piece of sculpture. It’s a massing of forms connected by decks and a breezeway. Anywhere you look, it works as sculpture.”
Architect: Joy Cuming, Aline Architecture, Orleans, alinearchitecture.com
Builder: Leif A. Johnson, Aline Architecture
Landscape design: Ponderosa Landscaping, Eastham, ponderosacapecod.com