About This Project

Homes /

Modern Barn

Completion Year: 1993
Program: 3500 SF, Single Family Residence
Beinfield Project Team: Jonathan Wagner AIA, Bruce Beinfield AIA, Christopher Carpiniello AIA
General Contractor: Caulfield & Ridgway, Inc.
Structural Engineer: DiSalvo Ericson Group

Awards & Honors:
1994 – American Institute of Architects, Connecticut Chapter

In 1991, a retired advertising executive and his wife, a poet, retained Architect Richard Meier to design a house in a twelve acre meadow in Lyme, Connecticut. That project was abandoned later that year when it became apparent that his design was incompatible with their budget. We were subsequently retained as architects.

The couple’s major requirements were a house that had a strong relationship to the “sea of grass” around it and a modern sculptural form.

On our initial site visit, we passed a series of fine original Colonial estates which left us with the impression of being transported back in time. There were very few reference points tying the built environment to this century. Based on this strong context we became concerned that the owner’s request for a white, sculptural, modern home would intrude on the areas distinct romantic appeal.

We reconciled the owner’s vision with our own by conceiving a “modern barn” which alludes to the agricultural structures on the adjacent properties. (The simplicity of the front facade was intended to offer a timeless quality when viewed through the distant tall grass.)

The back of the house opens up to the site, celebrating the surrounding meadow. The curtain wall of glass gives an intimacy to the relationship with the land.

The owners had sold their traditional family home in Westchester and were interested in redefining their lifestyle. Their art, antiques and furnishings, that had grown tired in their former large Tudor home, were given new life in the simple dramatic gallery-like space that was created. The main living space is a 22 x 50 room.

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