Scattered along Maine’s rugged coastline are some 4,600 islands. One in particular stands out to Addison Godine.
Getaway’s Director of Construction grew up summering on Bremen Long Island without electricity, infrastructure or ferry access. Addison first visited at two month’s old and it’s been an August family tradition ever since.
“Being there got me interested in doing more with less and living simply,” he says.
Once prized for shipbuilding-quality timber, the island today offers isolated recreation in warmer weather. Addison singles out the feeling of empowerment that comes with surviving independently and off the grid.
“I remember, as a kid, fixing things with my hands, which is always something you have to do there,” Addison says. “There’s this quality of being intimate with the environment that you don’t get living in the city.”
The Milton, Massachusetts native has always been at home in New England. Addison graduated from Middlebury College in Vermont with a degree in architecture and a physics minor.
His undergraduate studies led to a unique opportunity with Getaway.
“Whereas most architects design each building differently, I get to iterate. I learn from previous designs and carry what works into the next house. It’s more like product design than architecture.”
Addison’s design sense is influenced from trips along the Maine coast in sailboats with cabins about 80 square feet.
“Boat interiors are extremely efficient. I think about them as I’m designing the tiny houses. Everything has its place in a sailboat, contained and tidy. There’s a term for it — shipshape. I’d like to think that our tiny house designs are shipshape, too.”
Design also runs in the family. His late maternal grandfather Alvin taught graphic design at Yale and designed homes on Martha’s Vineyard. In the Getaway tradition of naming its tiny homes after staff grandparents, Addison-designed cabins Alvin and Hope stand near DC and NYC, respectively.
Addison also helped build Getaway’s first three tiny houses in the summer of 2015. At the time he was unsure what would become of them. Would people actually pay to sleep in his creations, or would all this work amount to nothing?
“I remember that moment distinctly,” Addison recalls of the first guest booking. “It was the validation of the business idea that you’re onto something that could be bigger.”
After building those initial cabins outside Boston, Addison pursued other projects before returning to Getaway in March 2017 as Director of Construction, to design cabins and manage work on-site.
In keeping with the intimacy of sailboats and tiny houses, Addison’s construction vehicle is a Toyota Prius.
“I keep all of my tools in the back. When other contractors see my car they are intimidated and fear me,” he laughs.
As Getaway expands, Addison plans to be on the road more and is trying to pick up the guitar. He already plays piano, but a guitar is far easier to fit in a hatchback.
To check out our tiny cabins, you can head over here to book your own escape.