New Canaan Residence / Specht Harpman

© Elizabeth Felicella

Architects: Specht Harpman
Location: , Connecticut, USA
Architect In Charge:
Interior Decoration: Carrier & Co.
Area: 6,000 sqm
Year: 2011
Photographs: Elizabeth Felicella

© Elizabeth Felicella

The New Canaan Residence is nestled into a lush hilltop site in this forested part of Connecticut. The house was designed to engage the landscape and immerse the occupants in the full range of environments that the site offers. What the completed house doesn’t show is its modest beginnings: this is a renovation of a 1950′s house which had a series of unsympathetic additions from the 60′s and 70′s, and whose owners originally wanted only a kitchen upgrade.

© Elizabeth Felicella

The New Canaan Residence welcomes its owners and their visitors into what feels like a floating pavilion in the tree canopy. A winding drive brings visitors through the forest to arrive at a low and gracious landscaped court that frames the glass entry pavilion. From this court, the transparency of the house is evident: floor-to-ceiling glass allows views through the house, incorporating the landscape into the body of the house. The tree canopy becomes a part of the architecture and creates a visual perimeter that changes with the seasons.

© Elizabeth Felicella

The upper level features the home’s primary gathering spaces, as well as bedrooms and a gymnasium. A staircase tucked behind the free-standing fireplace opens on to the lower level of the house, which is carved into the earth and gives views directly onto the forest floor. The lower level provides additional social spaces and features a media room, library, and two home offices. The lower level spaces link to a series of “outdoor rooms” that feature a fireplace and distinct seating areas. The grounded, cozy nature of the lower level provides an experiential contrast to the expansive and light-filled level above. The swimming pool and separate pool house emphasize the project’s strong lines and classically modern roots.

Lower Plan
Cite: "New Canaan Residence / Specht Harpman" 09 Apr 2013. ArchDaily. Accessed 18 Apr 2014. <http://www.archdaily.com/?p=356956>

3 comments

  1. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    Simply brilliant, love everything about this house. Would love to be able to see it in reality one day

    Well done

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