Monday, October 2, 2023

Design Awards- Residential Architecture

Ledge House

Desai Chia Architecture

This new home had to resonate with the history of the Connecticut Valley and include a material palette that was environmentally friendly incorporating the challenging site on a large rock ledge.

An existing rambling cabin that had been expanded in unsuccessful ways over time was removed but the concrete foundation was saved. The form of the house was inspired by indigenous barns of the area, the mountain ranges that flank the Housatonic River Valley, and the nearby, historic West Cornwall Covered Bridge.

The living area, dining area and kitchen form the nucleus of a large breezeway through the house. The breezeway was strategically positioned to take advantage of the views to the valley, the uphill cross-ventilating breezes, and an existing boulder that becomes a rugged companion to the house and the views of the landscape.  The exterior of the house is clad in Shou Sugi Ban siding, a charred cypress wood which offers a naturally rot-resistant and bug-resistant.  The living area between the bedrooms allows owners and guests to merge & socialize in a lofted, open area that connects across the ledge to a garden and a valley terrace.

Jury comment: “The relentless horizontality of the Ledge House establishes a datum within an undulating landscape. Its austerity heightens the perception of the mountain ranges. The landscape is able to complete the experience of the interior by minimally detailing the apertures.”

Photography Credit: David Sundberg, ESTO

SALT House

Joeb Moore & Partners Architects

SALT house is a renovation located on an Eastern Connecticut coastal salt marsh. The project utilizes the footprint and perimeter framing of an existing structure that dates to the early 1990’s. By eliminating hip roofs and stripping the existing massing down to primitive geometric forms, the design transformation reorganizes the interior while maintaining open views to the coastal landscape beyond. Living spaces are oriented toward water views of the Long Island Sound. A central staircase anchors the primary spaces without disrupting views. Two double-height volumes provide access to a compact second level, reinterpreting and modernizing the ‘widow’s walk’ a common feature of neighboring historical homes.

The exterior is clad in western red cedar, which extends as lattice in front of windows, functioning to provide privacy and limit solar heat gain. The project additionally utilizes solar energy, in response to both passive and active design considerations.

Jury Comment: “What they made was sort of intriguing, quite the transformation and a level of rigor most entries did not have.”

Photography Credit: Joeb Moore & Partners

Slice House

Joeb Moore & Partners Architects

Slice house is located on a site with glacial till and bedrock typical of Fairfield County. The new building is sited to fit between existing rock outcroppings and trees on the property. A T-shaped parti creates three distinct outdoor spaces: an arrival court to the north, a pool and entertaining terrace bermed between the house and a high knoll at the east, and a stepped dining terrace perched above a rocky slope to the west looking towards a reservoir.

The house itself is organized into three wings: formal living, informal living and support spaces, anchored to the site by a masonry wall. The void space between these three wings utilizes light and reflection to connect vertically between each story of the house as well as laterally to each wing and to the landscape beyond. Apertures function as gaps or slices to reinforce the transition between the three wings of the house. Windows and openings are lined with reflective metal panels that bounce light and landscape views into the interior spaces, while indexing the surrounding temporal environment on the building facade.

Jury Comment: “The rigor in the plan and the discipline to stay on part is really strong, and it sounds interesting. The facade makes the building relentless in a good way.”

Photography Credit: David Sundberg, ESTO

OLR-2 (Oblique)
OLR-4 (Gathering)

Oenoke Lane Residence

Neil Hauck Architects LLC

Oenoke Lane was designed to accommodate the lifestyle of empty nesters looking to downsize. Shared gathering spaces are located in a central pavilion flanked on one side by a private element containing the owners’ bedroom suite (with study, gym, and den below), and on the other side by guest bedroom suites elevated above a garage.  The central component houses living, kitchen, and dining functions contained in a single space with a vaulted ceiling clad in vertical grain fir.  Glass-enclosed links on each side of the central pavilion reinforce a clear visual distinction between the three pavilions.

Jury Comment: “Very much admire the commitment to a singular idea that is simultaneously timeless and of our time while deftly reflecting its New England heritage. The refinement is evident and visible on both the micro and macro levels.”

Photography Credit: Tim Lee Photography

Sackett Hill House

Deborah Berke Partners

Upon arrival at the pea gravel parking area, visitors walk on a stone path through an opening in a historic stone wall to reach the house, a subtle threshold that heightens awareness of the landscape. All the family’s collaborative space is on one floor in two long volumes forming an “L”, one side of which contains the public areas, the other side the more private spaces. The house includes many sustainable strategies including the use of four inches of continuous mineral wool insulation outboard of the exterior sheathing, and radiant heating and cooling to limit energy use throughout the year.

Jury Comment: “The simplicity of the "L" both at the scale of the site and interior are successful. Its axial nature is intentionally relentless.”

Photography Credit: Catherine Tighe



Three Bar House

Pirie Associates

Perched on a wooded coastal bluff, the Three Bar House emerged from the character of the site and the Owner’s love of architecture and art. We characterized the long view as “peaceful” and the short view as “active” and oriented uses accordingly into three bars, oriented north-south, to take advantage of the site characteristics: western bar for active functions, center bar for a connecting landscape, and eastern bar for restful functions. This zoning also supported the Owners’ desire for degrees of privacy within the home.

Jurors Comments: “The simplicity of the form allows the complexity of the landscape, near and far, to be captured between and within the buildings. The simple objectives produce a profound, and livable, solution.”

Photography Credit: Pirie Associates Staff

Rigorous Architectural Folly

Pool Cabana

Saniee Architects

“This is a very well done classically inspired garden structure. The proportions and thoughtful details are spot on.”

Photography Credit: David Sundberg, ESTO

Scarsdale Residence, Location: Scarsdale NY, Architect: Saniee Architects