The Bridge House is located in Kent, Connecticut along a 300’ ridge that parallels the Housatonic River not far from Kent Falls State Park. The state park boasts a beautiful series of cascading falls and a historic covered bridge. Joeb Moore + Partners Architects took these impressions and observations of the surrounding environment as inspiration and the jumping off point for the conceptual design of the Bridge House.
Architects: Joeb Moore + Partners Architects, LLC
Location: Kent, Connecticut, USA
Structural Engineer: Ed Stanley and Associates
Mechanical Engineer: ENCON Inc.
General Contractor: Corporate Construction, Inc.
Landscape Architect: Donald Walsh
Project Area: 5,000 sqf
Project Year: 2010
Photographs: Frank Oudeman, Michael Biondo, David Sundberg/Esto
Translating and mirroring the slow geological flow of bedrock and the more active flows and streams of water above, the architects invented a broad conceptual site-building diagram and strategy where the building becomes a kind of vessel and bridge that appears to spring out of the natural landscape and sloping topography. As the house takes on form and volume it turns and bridges across the very landscape that rolling directly under it and down the hillside the house itself is anchored into. The house proper (the wood structure) sits above and is buttressed into the hillside on either side of the living/dining “bridge” by two opposing concrete foundation/buttress/chimney structures with dual “hearths”. The introductory sectional perspective demonstrates this key site and building strategy most vividly and precisely.
The house form and its key “inter-locking” interior space, the dual living-dining area (indoor + outdoor / above + below see conceptual assembly model/diagram), are now open on both sides and turned parallel to the open meadow, the valley floor, and the Housatonic river below. The living/dining area and the vertical stair-light wells are a wonderful example of a kind of camera lucida or viewing chamber that makes continuous adjustments of internal relations (functions, activities, rituals) with external conditions (natural site, views, changing weather, light, and air). It is at these moments, In these chambers the house creates a life-world suspended between land and air.
The structural bridge concept allows the landscape to run directly through and under the building. This feeling of suspension, produces just enough of a “loose fit” and play between nature and convention for unexpected alliances to emerge. The house oscillates between a treehouse, a campground and a cave all in one.