This project is a playful reinterpretation of the classic Shingle Style that uses the intrinsic flexibility of the style to overcome the constraints of a beautiful but problematic site and a substantial program. Located on a low-lying point extending into Long Island Sound, the program was shaped by careful consideration of the restrictions inherent in building in a flood hazard zone that required elevating the first floor of the house more than seven feet above the existing grade.
The property is largely surrounded by water and has expansive views of the Sound and across tidal marsh and salt ponds. It was a priority to ensure views to the water from virtually all the rooms of the house. The views are dynamic and the water in the marsh and ponds is constantly moving with the tide. The house is principally one room deep to take the best advantage of these views. The wrap-around porches allow continuous interaction with the interior and exterior world. The interior spaces open on each other and keep the living areas light and open. The entry and stair hall pay homage to the classic Shingle Style living hall and incorporate a fireplace, built in benches and a second story interior bay window overlooking the staircase from above.
To protect the house in the event of high water, the residence was built on piers and pilings and carefully designed with breakaway panels around the foundation. The piles and piers were wrapped with stone. The grade was changed with three feet of fill, discretely blended with the surrounding contours to create a gentle mound of earth around the house that disguises the extent to which the house was elevated and limits the number of steps from grade to the first floor.
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