Water House

Water House

Architect
Newick Architects
Location
Branford, Connecticut, USA
Category
Private Houses
Robert Benson

Water House

Newick Architects as Architects

This house sits on an extraordinary site at the edge of Long Island Sound. A four bedroom, simple plan, 1950’s ranch existed on the site when the project began. Its proximity to the water would not have been replicable if not for the original condition.


Sixty feet of window wall, eight feet high now offers an unobstructed view of the Sound. The colors and materials of the interior range from grey to white and have surface reflectivity that ranges from matte to very spectral.


The north entry side has few windows because of road traffic and privacy issues.


To prevent excessive glare several large skylights were introduced on the landward side to help balance the intensity of the light bouncing off the Sound. Each of the skylights is particular based on where it occurs in the plan but in general, the geometry of the shafts are attenuated in a way that means that direct sunlight rarely falls directly on surfaces below the ceiling. The light in the interior has a palpable quality, a softness, which is quite unusual.


As the sun travels across the sky it enters the house from multiple directions. The interior is muted but sharp, connected to the sea but anchored to the land, horizontal but open vertically to the expanse from sky to sea.


The wood framed house is skinned in stucco, the windows are Solarban 60 with clear anodized aluminum frames, the copings are titanium, and the decks and terraces are flamed granite. The floors are terrazzo, painted oak and plaster and the walls are painted gypsum and Venetian plaster. The kitchen cabinets are lacquer and the counters are solid surface resin.


There is 2500 sq. ft. of living space plus the garage.  

Structural Engineer: Michael Horton & Associates

Building Contractor: CT All Phase Construction

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