Smith House, built amidst the rocks and trees of a one and one-half acre site,
overlooks Long Island Sound from the Connecticut
coast. A dense cluster of evergreens
stands at the entrance to the property.
Behind, the land clears and rises to the center of the site, then drops
sharply to the rocky shoreline and a small, sandy cove. The spatial
organization of this house hinges on a programmatic separation between public
and private areas. The private side of the
house is at the entrance facing land, woods, and road. A series of closed, cellular spaces, these
private areas are organized through three levels behind an opaque facade which
is intermittently pierced with windows.
The public spaces, where the family meets and entertains, are to the
rear of the house, overlooking the water.
This public sector consists of three levels nestled within a three-sided
glass enclosure; from the outside, the ground and upper levels appear as solid
slabs held fast in the white mullions of the glass shell. The dramatic view of
sea and sky that greets one upon entering is framed and intensified in the
transparent skin of the rear facade.
Placed directly opposite the entry, a painted brick fireplace pushes to
the outside through the tight frame of mullions. Suspended between the chimney and the steel
structural columns, the glazed wall creates a subtle tension that draws the
occupant across the living space to the outside. The balustrades of the lower
and upper levels are set back from the glass, amplifying that tension. As a camera records the moment of an event,
the experience of changing light and weather activates the crisp surfaces of
the house, while the clear glazing gathers subtle reflections of the interior
across its surface. The natural and the manmade exist as separate, elemental
experiences, yet it is impossible to separate one from the other. Photo 1:
©Scott Frances/EstoPhoto 2: ©Ezra Stoller/EstoPhoto
3: ©Richard Meier
this project I had to propose an addition to The Smith House. The requirements of the addition include a
200 SF Master Bedroom, 80 SF Master Bath, walk-in-closets, 180 SF Exercise
Room, 300 SF Family Room, and a 300 SF
Formal Outdoor Area. The owners wanted
the integrity of the original house to be respected, while the addition should
have its own presence.
Home Plans Elevations Sections Exterior Views Interior Views Analysis