For Sale/Rent

On the Market: A Glass House on a Cape Cod Island

Perched on one of Lieutenant Island's highest points, this contemporary creation is feet from the beach, and minutes from downtown Wellfleet.


Wellfleet, Cape Cod glass house by the beach

Photo via Gibson | Sotheby’s International Realty

113 4th St., Wellfleet
Price: $1,545,000
Size: 2,332 square feet
Bedrooms: 3
Baths: 2

If you can believe it, just last year this glass-walled creation looked like your average shingle-style Cape Cod home. Then came its owner, Robert Lanza, a scientist who made the Time 100 list in 2014 for his research on stem cells. Lanza designed the house to blend in with the flow of the surrounding nature, and so on top of gaining more than 1,500 square feet of space, the traditional walls were replaced with (hurricane-resistant and energy efficient) transparent ones.

Almost as impressive as the contemporary glass-ridden architecture and windswept marsh are the white stairs that cascade down the hill to the main road. From a certain angle, the sloped roof and staggered stairs create a Dr. Seussian illusion, making it look like a lop-sided house balancing impossibly on a hilltop.

The abode does, actually, sit atop one of Lieutenant Island’s highest points, and a second staircase falls straight down the slope, past the rocks and sand, ending at the shoreline. For days when you don’t want to trek down the stairs to the water, you can catch the sea breeze from the home’s multiple decks, or make your way to the upper deck hot tub, and follow it up with a soak in the sauna.

Like the exterior, the interior design is almost entirely white. From cream carpeting to Turkish marble floors, the colorscape is as serene as the surroundings. Even the gray stone slabs that adorn some walls work with the neutral palette. But imprinted in them is a unique feature—several fish fossils collected by Lanza over the years were discovered in pond and river beds, echoing the water-loving landscape around the home.

For information, contact Anthony Bartolini, Gibson Sotheby’s International Realty, gibsonsothebysrealty.com

Photo via Gibson | Sotheby’s International Realty

Photo via Gibson | Sotheby’s International Realty

Photo via Gibson | Sotheby’s International Realty

Photo via Gibson | Sotheby’s International Realty

Photo via Gibson | Sotheby’s International Realty

Photo via Gibson | Sotheby’s International Realty

Photo via Gibson | Sotheby’s International Realty

Photo via Gibson | Sotheby’s International Realty

Photo via Gibson | Sotheby’s International Realty

Photo via Gibson | Sotheby’s International Realty

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