We designed a family residence that blurs the boundaries between interior and exterior environments and takes advantage of dramatic views on this Connecticut farm property — from different viewpoints, the form of the house intensifies or dissolves based on a design process of merging, separating, and filtering the social hubs of the home. We studied the surrounding landscape for inspiration. The canopy of leaves and filigree of trees in the surrounding forest became a metaphor for the layered facade. We were struck by the varying degrees of opacity/translucency and the variations between light and shadow that emerged from this study.
The house floats above the land on masonry plinth that efficiently distributes the geothermal mechanical systems. An elevated ramp leads from the driveway approach to the double-height, entry/viewing terrace. This terrace is an important activity zone for the family—a place to gather and entertain, relax, play, and even prepare meals. A second, upper-level terrace serves as an outdoor family room and sleeping porch. The seamless flow between the living spaces and the terraces allows the spaces to expand and contract with the family’s lifestyle.
The roof form creates a series of vaulted, canopied spaces where breezes from the lower meadow pass through the indoor and outdoor rooms of the house. The roof also serves as a giant rainwater collector and channels water into an underground cistern for irrigation.
“Surface Innovation”, Center for Architecture, 2013
STRUCTURAL Liam O’Hanlon, P.E.
MECHANICAL Rodkin Cardinale Consulting Engineers