This house is a story of the convergence of art, architecture, landscape and domestic life. It is a story that has unfolded over 20 years for 2 generations of family through a series of renovations and expansions that trace an evolution in how we live, how life changes:
Originally owned by an architect and naturalist, Gray Taylor, he designed a mid-century modern structure that started out as a simple box. Situated along the riverbank, it took in expansive views of the brook and lush tree canopy at its banks. In 1960’s, he added a new wing that projects perpendicular to and over top of the river that posts down into the water below. The house was first renovated in the 1970’s for a new Owner, an art collector with a significant contemporary collection to display. The entry hall running perpendicular to the river and leading to the living room positioned over the water was re-envisioned as a gallery space.
Our engagement with the house began in 1996 with an addition to the house for the same art collector and her family. A new kitchen, family room and art display loft were added, attenuating the building’s footprint along the riverbank.
Twenty years later, we were asked to reimagine the house for the art collector’s daughter. In this complete renovation and extensive addition, the house continues to be defined by two axes: one parallel to the water and the other perpendicular. Programmatically, we added a guest suite, two-car garage, mudroom, and exterior terracing to provide intimate spaces to experience the brook’s edge. While only the living room and formal spaces were facing the river, in this renovation we allowed the kitchen and the new guest suite to be completely open to the stream and the woods. The master plan embraces the water and takes advantage of the views while providing privacy in a series of new volumes that are attenuated along the brook’s edge. Reflected views of the stream and trees on the glass curtain wall along the corridor dissolve the facade, seamlessly integrating the experience of house and site both inside and out. It is not the programmatic elements that make this project unique but rather the space between elements – the gaps through which nature, art, and domestic life slip in and out of each other.
Photography by © Timothy Schenck Photography