Morehouse MacDonald was called upon to architecturally 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 farmhouse style porch. The main dining room is divided into a central dining and bar area—with a 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 supported in vertical grained Douglas Fir rafters. Paneling, booths, and piers are all encased in 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 fieldstone, a beautifully curved bar in solid cherry, and an illuminated “glacial face” glass back-bar in three large panels. Visitors have summarized the effect of the total renovation as “fantastic” and “light and airy.”
An online reviewer on the Web site TripAdvisor 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.”