House Crush

A Cottage on Stilts Allows for Bird's-Eye Views — and a Built-In Parking Spot

Stone-clad piers and nautical styling define Mouse Island’s only home.

Mouse Island in St. George, Maine
TEXT BY SARAH STEBBINS
PHOTOGRAPHED BY DAVID CLOUGH

On wee Mouse Island in St. George, a couple’s shingled cottage takes its cues from fishing wharves, perching on stone-clad concrete piers safely above the flood plain. At 1,400 square feet — and, at less than 34 feet tall, deferring to an adjacent spruce — the island’s only home maximizes its buildable footprint, with about 50 feet of harbor clearance on two sides. Working with site plans from Portland’s Mohr & Seredin Landscape Architects, Rockland architectural designer Marcel Valliere conceived the piers to allow surging water to flow through and the owners to drive from the causeway into a built-in parking spot. An arched stairway visually tethers the structure, realized by Rockport’s New Leaf Construction, to the land, while “nodding to the nautical world,” Valliere says. A south-facing screened porch and deck and expansive windows on the eastern façade orient the owners toward less-populated shorelines and the sunrise, but a charming house on stilts is, itself, conspicuous, Valliere says. “Everyone in the area talks about it.”


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