Shoals Marine Lab

Housing and Lab Expansion Study


University of New Hampshire




Appledore Island,
Kittery, ME

New housing, living lightly on the land

A collaboration between Cornell University and University of New Hampshire, Shoals Marine Lab is one of the nation’s premier undergraduate education and research marine science field stations. Located off the coast of Kittery, Maine on Appledore Island, the lab functions within a significant cultural, geological, and biological history. Shoals Marine Lab aims in both its programs and physical presence to honor that history and live lightly to preserve the fragile island environment. Our team worked with SML and University of New Hampshire Campus Planning staff to study the feasibility of building new staff and faculty housing, as well as expanding the existing primary field lab.

Planning for resilience was paramount, as the island is both the site of climate crisis research and on the front line of sea level rise and intensified storms. Additional goals included harmonizing with the character of existing architecture, siting buildings over one of the natural geological depressions to allow access to the composting toilets, and maintaining low visibility from neighboring islands. As a result of this analysis, SML developed a strategy to reuse existing building footprints to minimize new services and surface disruption.