Quebec Street Residence is a bold, elegant, and efficient custom home in Portland, Maine’s Munjoy Hill neighborhood. A modernist reinterpretation of themes found in its nineteenth-century neighbors, the building reflects a close collaboration between GO Logic and our clients, who played a key role in the design process. The resulting project—on a tightly regulated infill lot of less than 3,000 square feet—deftly orchestrates parking, privacy, views, and interior space to create a high-performance platform for contemporary urban living.
Our design draws on the time-honored town house model, with a side staircase and rooms arranged in linear fashion from front to rear. Breaking with neighborhood precedent, though, we elevated the two-story main residence above street level for privacy and views, devoting the ground floor to a single-car garage and an efficient one-bedroom apartment. We offset the stucco-clad lower volume toward the rear, creating an elevated deck at the back of the building and sheltered parking for two additional cars at the front. An operable wood screen encloses one bay of the car port, matching the plane of the neighboring facades at pedestrian level.
Stacked atop this base is the boxlike volume of the main residence, whose stained cedar siding peels back from the northeast corner to expose a two-story, wood-framed curtain wall. The views improve as one ascends in the building, so we located the main residence’s three bedrooms at the second floor, reserving the third floor for the kitchen, dining, and living spaces. From a glazed corner entry vestibule at the ground floor, the main stair rises through three levels, culminating at a rooftop deck with views over neighboring buildings to Portland Harbor and the islands of Casco Bay.
The building’s interiors are clean and open, with minimal trim. The clients led the material-selection process, developing a sophisticated white-to-gray color palette accented by black window sashes and a distinctive black steel stair railing. Windows—triple-glazed for energy efficiency—are strategically located to provide views, natural lighting, solar gain, and privacy from the surrounding buildings. The building shell, which consists of a heavily insulated, air-sealed wood frame enveloped in a continuous layer of rigid insulation, delivers energy performance that approaches the Passive House standard.