House on the Connecticut Seashore

This house occupies a three-acre site with southerly views of Long Island Sound, as well as the lee side of a rocky island to the southeast and, off to the southwest, the Thimble Islands, a rocky archipelago reminiscent of the Maine Coast.

Location Connecticut
Size 7,500 Sq. Ft.
Features waterfront
Year Completed 1991
Photo Credit Mick Hales, Jeff Goldberg/Esto, Robert Benson Photography
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The house sits atop a historic quarry, filled in long ago, from which granite for the base of the Statue of Liberty was obtained. Because of its location in a flood zone, the house’s first floor had to be a minimum elevation of 16 feet above sea level. All nonstructural elements below that line are designed to break away, and structural elements above needed to be able to withstand severe storms.

The program called for 7,500 square feet, including outdoor decks and terraces, which could accommodate the family and house guests comfortably. The organizing concept is a collection of pavilions that frame views from each of the house’s principal spaces. The living room affords a broad vista to the Sound; the dining room looks out on the Thimble Islands and summer sunsets; the study has views of the water and a rocky island; the master bedroom overlooks the quiet lee side of the nearby island.

The visitor enters the automobile court without yet seeing the water, then mounts the stairs and enters the house where, through the hall and across the angled living room, Long Island Sound beckons.

PRESS & AWARDS

Awards

  • Professional Design Award, Society of American Registered Architects
  • Design Award, AIA Connecticut
  • Merit Award, Builder's Choice