Where: 628 West Road, New Canaan, CT 06840
By who: Original design by Marcel Breuer; Addition by Toshiko Mori
From when: 1951
How big: 5,577 square feet on 3.11 acres (4 bedrooms; 4.2 baths)
How much: $4,850,000
What makes this home so special is the fact that Breuer himself lived in it with his family for more than 20 years. Additionally, the way it stands today is largely in-line with the way he originally intended it to be—thanks to a pair of dedicated homeowners and an architect who understood that they had a treasure in their hands.
After building the house for himself and his family in 1951, they lived in it until 1975, which is when the house entered its roller coaster stage. At that time, a couple purchased the property and hired architect Herbert Beckhard—who had worked with Breuer for many years—to renovate the property. Throughout the ‘90s, the house was passed around and soon ended up in the hands of a builder who had plans to demolish the house and build a colonial in its place.
Enter the most recent homeowners, who stepped in and saved the house from destruction in 2005. As a couple who’s passionate about midcentury modern design, they refused to let that happen, and purchased the property for $2,600,000, with plans to bring it back to life. They brought architect Toshiko Mori into the picture, which began a three-year project to bring Breuer’s vision to the 21st century.
As an architect with a large presence at Harvard—which is also where Breuer taught—Mori shares a passion for iconic midcentury architecture and brought a keen perspective to the project. Listing agent Sherri Kielland told us that the project was a "labor of passion and love. When they purchased it, it was a shell. Mori felt confident that Breuer would have loved to see the next stage of his design."
"Mori and the homeowners worked together to make it relevant for the current day." -Sherri Kielland
Since Mori felt that the Beckhard addition wasn’t consistent with what Breuer had planned, she tore down pieces of it and started over with the original house. The couple and their three children lived elsewhere while Mori began piecing the home back together and adding a new steel and glass addition as well as a new wine cellar and sunning deck that sits above the pool house.
Kielland explained to us how special this house is and that it’s meant for someone who's going to appreciate the time and care that's gone into preserving its history, while bringing it up-to-date.
Make sure to get in touch with Kielland here if you see yourself living in this gem.