This 3,500 square foot residence built on a small lot near Compo Beach in Westport sits within strict footprint and building height limitations. A triple gable is employed under which the house is nestled. Two inverted roof dormers feed the center of the home with natural light. A glass bridge connects the finished third floor to the main stair, and glass railings allow light to filter down through the core of the home. Although the house is compact, the open floor plan and giant sized windows piercing the exterior allow light in and create open vistas throughout.
Renovation of an existing residence on the water. The entire structure was gutted and rebuilt as a beach cottage with a modern sensibility. A metal and wood stair is a sculptural connection between the three levels.
A New 900 square foot stucco Playhouse has distant water views, and overlooks the existing main house and pool. The Owners wanted a distinct space for entertaining. The interior has an open game room and a separate den and bath for guests.
A new Shingle Style Cottage on the water in Nantucket. Completed in 2016. Photos by Jeffrey Allen.
This Mediterranean Revival is perched on a hillside with scenic views overlooking a river. It underwent a complete interior reworking and several additions were designed to maintain the integrity of the original 1930's craftsmanship. The informal living spaces were re-envisioned to flow one into the next, perfect for the large family that resides there and their love for entertaining. Exterior living spaces were treated with as much importance as the interiors.
A renovated 1920's Victorian home on the water. The primary objective was to open the sight lines to the water views from anywhere in the first floor living space. Innovative use of sliding slatted wood screens allows the open spaces to be sectioned off for privacy. The use of reflective surfaces and light colored materials pulls the light into what was once a dark interior.
A Stone House originally built by Fraser Forman Peters, a local architect who specialized in designing stone houses throughout Fairfield County in the 1930's & 1940's. The commanding front of the existing home overlooks Long Island Sound. VBA designed extensive renovations and additions to take advantage of the views and modernize the home's dated layout and program. Much care went into the material selection and construction detailing, creating a seamless integration between old and new.
On the Boards
A 1930's Stone Dutch Colonial originally designed by noted Connecticut Architect Fraser Forman Peters was outdated, dark and had a choppy room layout. A poorly executed 1960's wood frame addition was demolished to make way for new additions. The task was to create bright interiors that were well connected to one another and to seamlessly link the many levels of the existing home. The additions were designed in the same spirit of the original; material selections were made to maintain the quality and solidity, and the long sweeping asymmetrical roof lines are in keeping with the cottage feel. Where possible, large expanses of glass were introduced to create a strong indoor/outdoor connection. The family room fireplace anchors the space and echoes the exterior stonework. The interiors were designed in keeping with the Arts & Crafts vocabulary.
A new 6,000 sq.ft. home inspired by the turn of the century architecture of A.J. Downing. The house sits on a level two acre property and has a prominent street front. Stripped of ornament, the house relies on its three steeply pitched gables, elongated windows and recessed entry to give it character. Interiors are left simple by using common elements and placing emphasis on connections, joints and fasteners.
The subterranean wine cellar design is inspired by the early nineteenth century French Manor home in which it resides. The steel stairway that descends into the space is reminiscent of the zeitgeist of the era; the marriage of Architecture and Engineering as a decorative art form, as expressed in the iconic Eiffel Tower. The foyer is enveloped by two walls of plywood paneling, creating a warm contrast to the limestone floors and glass and steel partition that separates the climate controlled storage room. The space is custom tailored to store the maximum number of bottles possible, working around the inevitable tableau of plumbing and mechanical chases. Suspended over the main cellar spaces are curved plywood ceiling panels that allow light to filter through their circular cutouts. Here again machine meets art, exemplified by the sinuous plywood panels set within a rigorous wall grid layout, or punctuated with the hole-punch openings at the ceiling.
The site of the existing house, located in a tidal marsh, is not allowed by today's building regulations. Working with a basic 1950's constructed box; the footprint or envelope could be altered minimally in order to keep the home's unique position. The design treats the house as a shell into which the new elements are inserted. Service spaces, such as the kitchen and powder room are housed in a sculptural edifice. The stairway captures views of the open living space but serves also as a focal point with its switchbacks and landings. Outdoor decks and porches are perched over the tidal marsh, touching the ground lightly, or not at all.
Abiding by two Client requests; the first to "make it look like it's always been there" and the second to "make it appear smaller than it is" informed the layout and architecture of this new 8,000 square foot residence. The house is broken up into many wings to help visually diminish the size. There is a hidden parking court on the North side of the home, with the two garage wings serving as bookends. The gambrel roof form and banding of the siding were deliberately chosen to reduce the mass of the home. The exterior terrace is South facing and steps down to a private sunken pool area.
Company Headquarters; completed in 2016.
A wing containing a kitchen, mudroom, and a three car garage with a master suite above was added to the existing saltbox house. The symmetry of the front facade is slowly eroded, as one moves toward the rear of the home. The less formal wing addition features asymmetric window placement and massing. The scale is kept modest by dropping roof lines low and tucking in dormers. The rear of the house is almost a complete departure from the front with large expanses of glass opening the interior up to the outdoors and flooding it with natural light. The interior spaces take inspiration from modern day minimalism combined with the Shaker interiors of early New England.
A Rustic retreat for a family who likes to entertain, and enjoy the countryside. The house is conceived as a collection of buildings artfully arranged. Each building contains a different programmatic element and expresses itself independently. The building forms take their cues from traditional agrarian, cottage and shaker buildings. Materials are left simple, raw and unfinished where possible. Native site quarried stone is utilized on the exterior. Reclaimed hemlock is used throughout the interior. Trees removed for the structure were milled for flooring.
Envisioned as a contemporary farmhouse and composed as a collection of vernacular building forms that have seemingly developed over time. Featuring architectural forms that are rooted in traditional residential building, yet rendered with crisp clean contemporary materials, this home pushes the envelope between what is familiar and what is new.
Originally owned by James Stillman Rockefeller, the 11,000 sq.ft. Georgian estate home located on 11 acres in back country Greenwich had not been altered since it was originally constructed as a wedding gift in the early nineteenth century. Unique for the area, the construction is entirely of concrete and steel. The house had to be extensively renovated to accommodate the lifestyle of the current owners and their family. Open informal living spaces were carved out of former servants quarters. The master suite was re-imagined, adding function and luxury fitting to it's pedigree.