On one-eighth acre, a two-and-one-half story 3,200 sq. ft. home has its footprint, bulk, height, and location predetermined by local, state, and federal regulations. This three-bedroom house projects out into the harbor and is set upon 115 wood pilings. Its three-foot thick concrete slab acts to counteract the natural buoyancy that would force it to pop out of the ground like a cork during tidal surges. Its basement was the first allowed by the Army Corps of Engineers to serve as a place to store cars in any “V” zone.

Essentially a three-dimensional puzzle, this house of layers, levels, and interweaving materials accepts dramatic views from the inside and presents a dramatic presence to those who view it from the sea. Its detailing, both dynamic and comforting, reflects the owners' desire for a new home whose style is age ambiguous. Open living spaces and large-scale windows are made visually comfortable with careful craft and natural materials.

Minimizing the number of gutters and maximizing overhangs, eaves, and protective trim elements allow for long-term durability and prevent seasonal overheating. The extended eaves and strategically placed windows pre-empt the need for air conditioning except during the hottest days. A strategic screen porch and terraces make a tiny site inhabitable. Solid, natural materials allow for decades of durability. Extensive interior built-in millwork minimizes the need for furniture and provide a maximum dense-packing of storage and utility.

A prisoner to neither style nor preconception, this actively engaging house provides a local landmark in suburban Connecticut.

Published in Custom Home and Connecticut Cottages & Gardens.