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Issue Eleven / Home Tours

The Kinfolk Home Tours: The Hatch House

Photographs by Anna Moller


In this special section, we go beyond the welcome mats of a dozen houses from around the world. These spaces are bound to inspire you and offer variations on the many ways you can live within your own space.


THE HATCH HOUSE Cape Cod, Massachusetts

Original owners Ruth and Robert Hatch
Architect Jack Hall
Type of house “The perfect modern primitive hut” —K. Michael Hays, Harvard architecture professor
Year built 1962

In 1960, architect Jack Hall designed a summer cottage on the bay for Robert Hatch, once an editor at The Nation, and his wife Ruth. According to Peter McMahon, author of Cape Cod Modern: Midcentury Architecture and Community on the Outer Cape, the rectangular structure was conceived as cubes in a grid matrix and was partly inspired by chicken coops. Framed by an exoskeleton of fir posts and beams, it divided its living space into three areas: a living room, a master suite and some guest rooms. The showpiece was its living and dining area that opened to a sea-facing deck via mosquito screens, Plexiglas sliders and wooden shutters with an emphasis on good light for reading. Exposed dark beams on painted plywood made the space feel both intimate and grand. The built-in couch seats were ideal for gazing at the bay. The artist Peter Watts, a family friend, remembers, “You could just be mesmerized sitting out on the porch. I always thought it was like living in a Turner painting.” The Hatch family’s lease ended in 2007, and the house is currently owned by the National Park Service/Cape Cod National Seashore. Once a gathering spot for artists, thinkers and friends, including Noam Chomsky and Edmund Wilson, it is now completely restored and open for residencies, summer rentals and occasional tours.

We used information with permission from Cape Cod Modern: Midcentury Architecture and Community on the Outer Cape (working title), by Peter McMahon and Christine Cipriani, published by DAP / Metropolis Books, released summer 2014. 

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