6 Pilgrims’ Landing

6 Pilgrims' Landing, Provincetown (2013), by David W. Dunlap. 

You can count on one hand the number of architects of national stature who’ve worked in Provincetown, with a few fingers left over. Having purchased a building by one of those architects (Walter Gropius of TAC) — the Murchison House at 2 Commercial Street — Clifford Schorer made the bold decision to bring in a leading contemporary firm, Hariri & Hariri of New York, to design the next house on the lot, 6 Pilgrims’ Landing.

The sisters Gisue Hariri and Mojgan Hariri, born in Iran and educated at Cornell, opened their practice in 1986. It would be difficult to ascribe any particular aesthetic to the firm, though the Provincetown house bears more than a passing resemblance to the sisters’ Sternbrauerei residential development in Salzburg, Austria.

It also seems to me an homage to its distinguished predecessor: a glass box framed in wood, with its main floor cantilevered over its basement floor and a clerestory level above.

Hariri & Hariri are not “background” architects. Their house is in one sense a welcome — and needed — breath of pure oxygen, a declaration that there is room in modern Provincetown for more than Ye Olde Cape Codde shingles-and-shutters. On the other hand, the bold form of the building has led some to worry that it overpowers the vista of Gull Hill from the breakwater and overshadows what ought to be the main architectural event: Gropius’s quieter and more subtle Murchison House.

These are not unwarranted concerns. But with 6 Pilgrims’ Landing still under construction in 2013, it’s probably too early to say for sure. After the wood of the new house weathers and the landscaping around it matures, it may make for a complementary bookend, speaking to the changes in residential design in the half-century since the Murchison House, omega to TAC’s alpha. • Assessor’s Online Database ¶ Posted 2013-11-01


6 Pilgrims' Landing, Provincetown (2013), by David W. Dunlap.


6 Pilgrims' Landing, Provincetown (2013), by David W. Dunlap.


6 Pilgrims' Landing, Provincetown (2013), by David W. Dunlap.


8 thoughts on “6 Pilgrims’ Landing

  1. This architectural abomination should never have been allowed. Overlooks our sacred water’s edge, with the ashes of many of our beloved. Testament to what power and dollars can push through in Ptown, as usual. So completely out of context with its natural and organic surroundings.

    Wake up, citizens! Your voices will be listened to if enough of us rise to action.

  2. I really like it. And I was here when the original Murchison castle was here. I can remember all the people being up in arms about the new building but now it looks like it belongs there.

    • I think this is a remarkable structure. I’ve been watching it go up since the beginning and love how it’s turned out. I agree time and appropriate landscaping will help it blend into its surroundings. I’d love to see it from inside when it’s complete.

      Along with the new PAAM (which was also a highly controversial design), it looks like Provincetown architecture is entering the 21st century in fine style.

  3. I like the dynamic lines and form of the new home. In my opinion, it is not out of place in that specific location. However, I would prefer not to see a home like that intermixed with old Provincetown.

  4. One-percenters always get what they desire. It reeks of, “Look at me — aren’t I special?”

    Put this on top of Telegraph Hill, but not on the last sand dune of this magical ecosystem.

    I agree it is dynamic looking, but pitch pines and dunes belong there — not Malibu East.

  5. You wouldn’t built this in the vista of the Florida Everglades. Why would this “world famous” designer build this angular creation on last standing wild dune at “land’s end” on Cape Cod?

    I’m not protesting its stunning geometry, but I am protesting its out-of-context placement. There’s beauty, physically and design-wise, throughout this three-by-three square mile of sand dune. This last piece of soil, overlooking the ashes of thousands of AIDS victims and loved ones, was not a “pig in need of lipstick.” Its natural primal beauty was stunning in its own geometry.

  6. I am constantly hearing cries of “context” which worries me… especially in Ptown. Context, as is beauty, is in the eye of the beholder… as a reminder, PTown was a town filled with a number of fishing industrial buildings (i.e.; ice houses), windmills, fish drying racks, and associated ship building facilities…. much different than the current residential and commercial make-up…. mind you, much of our waterfront has constantly been reshaped, from the Gale of 1898, to the wharf take over by artists, various piers and wharfs coming and going, and not to mention the various fires that have engulfed beloved buildings… among other events. We live in a somehwat “tempered” and dynamic environment, which is not static. We are the recipients of an image of Ptown that has been shaped and reshaped, depicted and re-depicted, over a hundred years, which pales in comparison to the ecological reshaping of the arm of the cape….

    I am happy to see the new house, as an updated architectural commentary and statement of Gropius’ office, TAC. Compared to the PTown Inn, and its infringement on the shoreline (via a massive landfilling), and its incoherent architectural rambling…. I question judgments of “context”, without considering the actual context, both environmental and architectural. Furthermore, considering the various building additions and inconsistencies that exist in Ptown already, I find it contextual…

    Having been to the Everglades, I have seen visitor centers there with the same enclosing shape, and less tasteful homes in Malibu…. Such static aesthetics are more appropriate for Sandwich and Chatham, which is not exactly the aesthetic of Ptown. I love Ptown for its eclecticism, for its historicism, and for its modernity… a diverse architectural and historical heritage…

    I find this subject fascinating, as it was the basis for my recently completed dissertation on “Authenticity and Architecture”, while looking at perceptions of originality and context in our built environment.

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