Reconstructed, refitted, reprogrammed… phoenix-like in its new life as a home for a family with college age children, this house occupies a glorious coastal site, a long-abandoned granite quarry overlooking a series of contiguous inlets, salt marshes and a small harbor on the Connecticut shoreline. Originally built in the seventies and despite suffering from an array of technical woes, we felt that the basic spatial relationships of house and site were good, the theatrical unfolding of its entry sequence to spectacular views elegant, and its massing and low-slung roof line appropriately modest in their near invisibility from the water.
Working as both architect and general contractor for the project, we lifted northern corners of once flat roof planes, introducing clerestory windows at critical points to reduce glare and balance light contrast. We salvaged all existing wood (and steel) framing, reusing it to restructure and extend roof and floor cantilevers. We charred new cypress siding boards (using the traditional Japanese method of shou sugi ban) to give character and additional resistance to fungal rot and weathering. Those same boards sheath a large bi-fold garage door, turning a familiar suburban fixture into a simple panel of wood, complementing the hues in adjacent stone walls.