chapter  10
Celebrating and safeguarding the environment through residential design
Pages 13

Somes Sound (the only fjord in the USA) bifurcates Mt Desert Island. It defines a long, narrow, deep inlet of the sea between steep slopes, forming a natural fortress against the pounding force of the ocean. The island’s regional character evolved from activities tied to granite quarrying and fishing economies into a summer resort area for rusticators by the end of the nineteenth century. As such, the area has a long fallow season when the summer residents and tourists are absent, and high seasonal demands on the area sites, particularly for water, during the summer and early fall. There is also a pattern of people from away ’buying up the island and those selling moving off.’ The preservation of a regional culture, therefore, is one of the challenges that both locals and architects face. ’People come here to live in Acadia (National Park). They migrate to Maine in the summer to soothe their souls. With the locals now being displaced, it is quiet in winter.’ Due to the shift in the economic base to tourism, the emphasis is, as Wilson put it, on the ’marketing of culture.’ How, then, does an architect contribute to the essential characteristics that make a place unique without resorting to simply copying what is already there or, more to the point, what outsiders expect to be there? Carol Wilson’s preference is to celebrate where the project is situated, and to address the needs of her clients so that they feel at one with the place (Figure 10.2).