Renovated in 2019 by Erin Pellegrino’s design firm, this home in Martha’s Vineyard was originally designed by architect Chester Wisniewski, a former apprentice of Frank Lloyd Wright. Originally the building was used as a workshop to build and fix sailboats. The renovation design kept the workshop’s spirit intact in its design concept.
The Shop in Martha’s Vineyard Technical Information
- Original Architect: Chester Wisniewski
- Renovation Design1-6: Erin Pellegrino
- Location: Martha’s Vineyard, United States
- Topics: Wood Structure, American Houses
- Area: 3,500 square feet
- Project Year: 2001, renovated in 2019
- Photographs: © Nikole Bouchard
The workshop was created through experimentation in design and materials, using standard easily-available building materials like dimension lumber, plywood, glass, and steel, to construct dwellings in non-standard ways.
The Shop in Martha’s Vineyard Photographs
Text by the Architects
After Wisniewski’s death, his sons decided to preserve the original structure and transform the interior into a residential home named The Shop.
As with Wisniewski’s other structures on the vineyard, the workshop was created through experimentation in design and materials. He created the workshop using standard easily-available building materials like dimension lumber, plywood, glass, and steel, to construct dwellings in non-standard ways. For instance, the roof was inspired by the Japanese Shinto Temples Wisniewski observed during WWII. To design the roof, he used a book on the temples, without dimensions as a style guide, copying the trusses that were of interest, and scaled them to size with one of his sons’ help.
For instance, the roof was inspired by the Japanese Shinto Temples Wisniewski observed during WWII.
Although four decades younger, Pellegrino shares a similar sensibility to Wisniewski in that she comes to design with a hands-on approach and is interested in material experimentation. Both hold the philosophy that one cannot separate making and thinking. In her design of the residence (and site-specific furniture), Pellegrino pulled inspiration from the concept of a workshop and how one functions within specifically designated areas.
She separated the space into different zones: the public zone has distinct areas for specific tasks, similar to a workshop. The private zone is designed to feel like furniture found within a workshop. Each design element is functional, while its material palette speaks to the spaces’ nature and the island’s feel. Also, she built most of the furniture on-site while living within the space.
The Shop in Martha’s Vineyard Plans
The Shop in Martha’s Vineyard Image Gallery
About Erin Pellegrino
Erin Pellegrino is the founder of Make Think Design, a creative agency that manifests ideas from creation to iteration and realization. Through their work, Erin and her team seek to uncover, build upon, and create meaningful relationships through design at various scales.
- Builder/General Contractor: Joe Grillo, Tashmoo Construction Structural
- Engineer: Kent Healy, Structural & Civil Engineering Landscape Design: Mary Wirtz, Wild Violets
- Interior Design: Erin Pellegrino, makethink
- Cabinetry Design: Erin Pellegrino, makethink
- Construction Foreman: Wally Gold
- Caretaker, Landscaping Contractor: Tauras Biskis