The Harbor Residence project undertook the transformation of an early 1980s waterfront “transitional shingle style” home situated on a site with 360-degree views of Greenwich Cove. The initial prompt and conceptual framework for the house came from the client who sought a design that would connect their growing collection of contem-porary art with the house, interior and landscape in a way that would allow all three – art, architecture and landscape – to operate as an expanded and interactive field. The transformed interior and exterior spaces, flows, and views work to collapse the three into one.
This “expanded field” is evident as one moves through the revised approach, transitioning from motor court, through a compressed privacy hedge grove that gives way to a vast pivoting entry, and into the double-height foyer gallery. From there, views unfold panoramically through the house, across the landscaped infinity pool, and down to Long Island Sound as illustrated in the key cross-section drawing of the site. Both near and far “worlds” are experienced simultaneously, as you are suspended between the vertical entry garden-room, the artwork continuously animated by light bouncing off the water, and the inlet islands well beyond. This perception is further heightened by the contrast between the metallic black shingle, glass and louver exterior and the white walled interior boxes, each working to frame, blur and intermingle the cinematic views and light that now fully penetrate the home.
Further inside, the white resin “butler’s bar” provides another moment of complete interconnectivity as it floats between the entry and dining spaces. As a performative art-object-furniture piece, it activates a series of unexpected material, spatial and functional contrasts in a small, but powerful moment. Rendered in milk glass resin, it both absorbs and bounces light to produce a diaphanous white cloud or fog in the otherwise crisp interior. It’s mirror finish stainless steel frame reflects both the distant water views and the surrounding art and interior finishes, to create a dramatic kaleidoscope effect that acts as a microcosm for the overall experience and play desired for the house. In this moment, house, art and landscape are co-dependent, conspiring with the light to complete the transformation of the house into a multi-sensory environment of reflection and illusion, and projecting that experience onto the daily rituals of domestic life.
Photography by © David Sundberg / Esto