About This Project

Homes /

House of Magic

Completion Year: 2008
Program: 7,000 SF, Single Family Residence
Beinfield Project Team: Bruce Beinfield AIA, James Wassell, Andrew Bartolotta AIA
General Contractor: Residential Construction Management, LLC
Landscape Architect: Janice Parker Landscape Design
Structural Engineer: David Seymour, PE

Awards & Honors:
2011 – American Institute of Architects, Connecticut Chapter
Award for Design Excellence – Single Family Home

The owner requested a magical house and provided a home for his folk art collection. The result mirrors the owner’s buoyant, dramatic personality, but also speaks of his intense desire for privacy and retreat.

Nestled in the landscape at the end of a dirt road, the exterior expression is evocative of a Connecticut tobacco barn. Small openings on the quietly abstracted front are replaced by expanses of glass along the rear that expose the timber barn frame and capture stunning views of the river valley that the property affords.

The sedate distilled New England facade belies the exuberant fun-house inside. The interior is conceived as a stage set, in which a series of “scenes” can be produced. Drawing upon authentic theatrical stage construction, a rigging system is employed to move large art pieces in and out of the living and dining areas, allowing for an ever-changing “cast”. Spotlights, pulleys, and metal railings are among the accoutrements of stage-craft that are used throughout. A theatrical steel catwalk connects the upper level, while affording dramatic views of the spaces below. The timber framing and other finishes are rustic, light and bright. Inspired in part by Fellini’s Surrealist film Juliet of the Spirits, the scenery is meant to evoke dreams and fantasies.

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