Morehouse MacDonald was called upon to architecturallly re-invent a beloved and local landmark in East Dennis, Massachusetts — the well-known Marshside Restaurant.
Expanding the restaurant by three fold, the firm was tasked with significant environmental, site, structural engineering, and architectural challenges. The firm’s consulting structural engineer established an innovative structural pier system from which the building sprung. On this new raised base, the new restaurant supports seating for nearly 120 people, including a 12-seat bar and expansive waiting area.
Patrons arrive to an inviting farm-house style porch. The main dining room is split between a central dining and bar area—with well lit cathedral ceiling—and a lower level sporting spectacular views to the salt marsh beyond. Beautifully articulated Douglas Fir trusses and timber posts establish spatial order while lower ceiling areas are precisely supported in vertical grained Douglas Fir rafters. Paneling, booths, and piers are all encased in a durable cherry wood—coordinating with dark brown leather cushions and a material palette that recalls the nearby beaches of Cape Cod.
Dramatic architectural accents include large glass corner windows, a see-through fireplace of natural field stone, a beautifully curved bar in solid cherry, and an illuminated “glacial face” glass back-bar in three large panels. The effect of the total has been summarized by visitors as “fantastic” and “light and airy.”
An online reviewer on the Web site TripAdviser stated: “The renovation of this property could not have been done in a more tasteful manner; the setting has always been beautiful, but the new building takes every advantage of the view from each spot in the restaurant.”