The Bainbridge House is a secluded sanctuary on a wooded 3-acre island site. A 500-ft driveway winds through the woods up to the house, located in a clearing at the top of a gentle hill. The house opens to a gently sloping meadow on the south side of the clearing.

Overall, the house is organized into two main volumes, with the glazed entry located in between these two volumes. The bedroom wing is to the west of the entry, and the living pavilion extends to the east, into the landscape. The living area has large glass walls to the south and north, allowing the landscape to surround the space, with the fireplace anchoring the east end. On the north side of the living area, a sculptural pantry volume is clad in organic Kolumba brick from Denmark. The fireplace is also made with Kolumba brick, with a blend of three variegated grey colors.

The living pavilion ceiling has a dense pattern of exposed wood beams, interrupted by five shafts of light coming from roof light monitors. Each light monitor is rotated slightly from the orthogonal geometry of the wood beams, so there is a sense of movement across the wood ceiling. The light monitors in the ceiling begin at the kitchen and then unfold as the visitor moves through the space. The dining table is placed across from the kitchen, with large sliding glass doors opening to a raised terrace overlooking the meadow.

Simplicity rules the choice of interior finishes. European beech cabinets and white stained oak floors are combined with serene grey walls. The kitchen island is a sculptural accent piece in white quartzite, with a cast-glass breakfast counter supported by a laser cut steel panel.

The continuing FINNE design work in crafted modernism can be seen in the gently undulating custom steel light fixtures suspended over the kitchen island and dining table, the cast-glass breakfast counter, the custom dining table, the spare steel and wood main stair, the undulating wood screen coat closet close to the front door, and the folded steel doors (hiding a flat screen TV) next to the fireplace,. The crafted approach continues on the exterior with a variegated pattern of clear cedar siding and the unique handmade Danish Kolumba brick. These linear raku-like bricks have a subtle grey color blend, creating accent walls at the pantry and the living room fireplace.

The house was designed to be sustainable from the start, with broad 4-6 ft roof overhangs, 40% higher insulation values than required by code, efficient natural ventilation, large amounts of natural lighting, water-conserving plumbing fixtures, LED lighting, locally sourced materials and drought-tolerant landscaping. Windows have high-performance Low-E insulated glazing and are equipped with concealed shades. The house roof has been planned for future photo voltaic panels.

Deep roof overhangs, built-in shades and high operating clerestory windows are used to reduce heat gain in summer months. During the winter, the lower sun angle is able to penetrate into living spaces and passively warm the radiant-heated floor. Low VOC paints and stains have been used throughout the house. The high level of craft evident in the house reflects another key principle of sustainable design: eschew “throw-away-ism” and make the house last many years!