Located on a rocky shelf that drops down the eastern slope of Mt. Desert Island toward the Atlantic Ocean, the Seal Harbor House was designed by American architect Peter Forbes. It takes its shape from the island's striking, yet fragile landscape. A core of structural steel rises 40 feet to the apex of the clerestory, forming a strong, flexible spine meant to withstand the severe winds that frequently batter the site. Emerging from deep forest to raw, open cliffs, the walls of this extraordinary house become increasingly transparent until the structure seems to dissolve into planes of glass. The illusion is complete when glass planes are rolled back, exposing the interior of the structure to the outdoor environment. Even the non-transparent elements were designed to blend into the natural landscape--such as the cedar shingles, which are stained to match the lichen on the surrounding rock ledges.
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