Completion Year: 2001
Program: 4200 SF, Single Family Residence
Beinfield Project Team: Bruce Beinfield FAIA, Edmund Clemente
General Contractor: Schmiedeck Construction
Landscape Architect: Wesley Stout Associates
Awards & Honors:
2001 – Town of Westport, Connecticut
Historic Preservation Award
This major renovation of a vintage 1930 single family home represents an attempt to explore the common ground between the stark, patterned forms of early New England architecture and the ordered abstraction of modernism.
The owners had purchased the house with the hope of enlarging and renovating it to accommodate a growing family. Additionally, their careers in interior design and as the design director of a major contemporary clothing company had given the owners a love of Modernism that they hoped could be integrated meaningfully. Aware of the contradictions involved in altering the original 2600 s.f. house so dramatically, they nevertheless strongly desired a home that would be simple and subtle.
The rambling informality of the plan and exterior massing was maintained embellished by additions that step up the hillside. While retaining the frame and chimneys of the existing house, a new skin of closely spaced wood clapboards and a pattern of small windows were applied over old and new construction, interrupted as required by the large new windows and doors. The detailing of exterior and interior wood trim, including the flat window muntin pattern, is an abstraction of traditional forms. All hardware and railings are developed in a contrasting metal aesthetic to differentiate them. The existing asphalt shingle roof was replaced with wood shingles. A strong connection to the outdoors was reinforced by the introduction of a 2 level stone patio, which the house then encloses on 2 sides. A spillway from the upper level swimming pool and the cantilevered granite staircase make reference to early mill buildings as well as create a strong physical and psychological connection between the various outdoor spaces.