You can count on one hand, with a few fingers left over, the number of architects of national stature who’ve worked in Provincetown. Having purchased the Murchison House by one of those architects (Walter Gropius of TAC), Clifford Schorer hired a leading contemporary firm, Hariri & Hariri of New York, to design the next house on the big lot at land’s end. The sisters Gisue Hariri and Mojgan Hariri, born in Iran and educated at Cornell, are not background architects. This house, nearing completion in 2014, is a welcome and needed breath of oxygen, a declaration that there is room in modern Provincetown for more than Ye Olde shingles-and-shutters. But its bold form — an abstracted, Modernist nautilus shell made of Brazilian ipe hardwood — has led some to worry that it will forever overpower the vista of Gull Hill and overshadow what ought to be the main architectural event: Gropius’s subtler Murchison House.
More than 2,000 buildings and vessels are searchable on buildingprovincetown.com. The Building Provincetown book is available for purchase ($20) at Town Hall, Office of the Town Clerk, 260 Commercial Street, Provincetown 02657.