About This Project

Unbuilt /

Covered Bridge Residence

Design Year: 2015
Beinfield Project Team: Bruce Beinfield FAIA, James Wassell

Awards & Honors:
2015 American Institute of Architects, Connecticut Chapter
Design Award – Unbuilt Category

The borough of Stonington Connecticut is one of the rare places where you can feel history. The Yankee knowledge, ingenuity and spirit that gave life to this community 300 years ago is evidenced in the timber frames of the boats and barns that were crafted there. That same thought pattern, or way of seeing is found in the covered bridges that spanned the rivers and ravines. Highly functional and elegantly engineered wooden trusses were hand hewn and assembled to allow rivers to be crossed, and distances spanned. These iconic New England forms floated acrobatically above the land, touching down lightly without altering the natural pattern of the natural landscape below.

The Fullerton Residence is conceived as a covered bridge that provides its host family with the opportunity to develop an intimate relationship with the surrounding environment. The house is located in close proximity to both tidal and inland wetlands, offering its inhabitants the possibility of observing the natural diversity on the site at the eastern most part of the Connecticut coast. The linear plan offers allows views from every room without the mediation of manmade form. This enables connectivity to those life forms. The house is oriented to naturally harness, store, and manage energy so as to have a zero carbon footprint, and earn its place in the community of the creatures around it. The bridge structure enables the house to float above the dynamic landscape, with a light footprint.

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