A Curvaceous Connecticut Home Asks $2.6M

A Curvaceous Connecticut Home Asks $2.6M

By Jenny Xie
Its winding, white stucco facade bespeaks a fluid interior that blends indoor and outdoor space.

Perched on a rocky hill above five wooded acres in Darien, Connecticut, the white walls of 27 Tory Hole Road seem to snake out of the trees. The curved stucco facade allows for panoramic views of white pines, meadow, and ravine, and a low terrace wall follows the contour of the property, connecting the house to the thick stands of oak and pine surrounding the site. For the current homeowner, who has lived here for the past 22 years, privacy and convenience were key selling points: though secluded, the dwelling is only one mile from the center of town. This architectural wonder, designed by Arthur Cort Holden in 1938, is now on the market for $2,595,000.

The entrance faces north and is approached by a drive through the ravine and adjacent woods.

The low wall that lines the southern face of the house eventually curls around to surround a lily pool. The protruding dining room, seen at the far end, has ample windows to usher in views of the garden.

In a July 1942 article for Architectural Record, professor emeritus of architecture at Princeton University Jean Labatut waxed poetic about the house’s grand use of space and scale. Its curvature, he pointed out, allowed the viewer to see inside and outside space at once, creating a permeable barrier between the two. The result is a unique communion with the landscape that isn’t readily apparent from photos. "While the mechanical eye of a wide angle camera can make forms and space do all kinds of acrobatics, the human eye cannot," writes Labatut. "The facade can be seen only in parts and seems to melt into nature."

A meandering corridor connects the dining room and living room. Labatut notes that "the absence of parallelism between walls and the absence of doors gives a great fluidity and value to space, yet privacy is insured...by the curving and treatment of walls." 

A spiraling staircase connects the home's three levels and leads into the foyer.

The living room's fieldstone and aluminum fireplace includes a hidden wood bin that is accessible from outside, keeping the homeowner supplied throughout winter.

The sinuous walls facilitate a fluidity of space on the main floor, and though one room flows into the other, there is still a feeling of separation. "Despite its iconic architectural elements, our house is very livable for a family," says the seller Bruce Lynn. "It has open space while still permitting a sense of ‘rooms.’" At 4,035 square feet, the house has four bedrooms with ensuite baths, including a master bedroom that opens onto a terrace. The lower level houses a media room and a laundry or utility room for extra space.

Bruce Lynn updated the kitchen and installed a new furnace and air conditioning. For furnishings, Lynn initially sought art deco and Biedermeier pieces at furniture auctions. Over the years, works by celebrated designers have become more available, such as Noguchi glass coffee tables and Frank Lloyd Wright chairs. Nearly all the hardware in the house is original; the doorknobs came from the same manufacturer that supplied Philip Johnson's Glass House.

The kitchen leads to a deck, perfect for entertaining outdoors.

"The illumination of the house by artificial light is particularly successful at twilight when natural and artificial light unify inside and outside illumination. Then nature and architecture acquire a translucent quality," writes Labatut.

For more information on the house, see the listing on the Halstead Property website.


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