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A Malcolm Wells design, Cape home tucked into the earth hits market for $1.9 million

Luxury News Cape Cod
145 Wintergreen Lane in Brewster, Massachusetts is now on the market for $1.9 million.
145 Wintergreen Lane is on 3.84 acres in Brewster. Plan-o-matic

Clad by greenery and admired for its “underground design,” an earth-sheltered Cape Cod property created by late architect Malcolm Wells is on the market for the first time since the mid-1980s, priced at $1,900,000.

Wells built the eco-friendly Brewster home in 1979, said the listing agent, Stacey Ricci of Kinlin Grover Real Estate.

Wells, who died in 2009, “tirelessly advocated environmentally responsible design,” according to his obituary in The New York Times. He promoted the construction of structures underground, at least partially — designs that were always integrated seamlessly into the surroundings. “Sunny, dry and pleasant, it offers huge fuel savings and a silent, green alternative to the asphalt society,” Wells said, according to a website devoted to the architect and his work. Wells, who taught environmental design at Harvard University and other schools, wrote several books on the subject, including “Gentle Architecture” (1981) and “The Earth-Sheltered House: An Architect’s Sketchbook” (1998)

145 Wintergreen Lane is no exception to this style.

The 2,912-square-foot home has been modified (including the removal of earth from atop the house and the opening up of the interior), but the terrain stretches up to the roof, and the land is covered with native plants and moss, Ricci said.

“The skylights and earth keep it well insulated,” she said. “It’s built kind of into the ground, on a slab, with no basement. He did it for nature and for the animals. The outside is covered in moss, so you don’t have to mow it, and it always stays green.” 

Constructed with wooden beams, the three-bedroom, 2.5-bath ranch also features a lot of glass and steel, Ricci said, and the space overall is “very symmetric” and “very wide open.”

“You can look right outside through the home and you’re at eye level with” Upper Mill Pond, Ricci said, noting that a stairway runs over the wetlands and down to the private dock. The home sits on 3.84 acres.

Ricci said motorized watercraft are not allowed on the pond, but all other forms of passive recreation — like fishing, kayaking, and paddle boarding — are permitted.

View additional photos of the home below:

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