We designed our Gray House for two related senior adults who are not a couple. The site, on a road just outside the town’s center, is relatively flat and adjacent to a large field that is protected by a Connecticut Agricultural Conservation Easement. The clients requested a house that would harmonize with its semi-rural setting. Our clients wanted the primary spaces to be on the ground floor, but agreed that for efficiency, flexible spaces could be on a limited second floor. They wanted a house flooded with natural light that could also be naturally ventilated during mild months.
We oriented our design towards the south with views to the protected fields; the north façade addresses the access road. This orientation allows for large southern windows that enjoy inherent privacy; smaller windows on the other facades allow for varying natural light and cross ventilation. The U-shaped plan creates maximum separation between each occupant’s bedroom wing; common spaces link these wings. This form also results in a three-sided courtyard facing the expansive view yet protected from north winds. The continuous gabled form refers to the many vernacular farm buildings in the area visible on the approach to the house.
The exterior of the house is clad in relatively maintenance-free gray Accoya Wood Siding (the gray color complements a relative’s darker charcoal Accoya house on the same road). The owners signed-up for energy efficient components such as Marvin’s Signature Line of windows and high R-Value insulation, yet they also accepted more standard materials (wood-framing, GWB, average-grade wood floors) for budgetary reasons.
Our clients are very happy with the resulting lofty spaces contained in the recognizable gabled-house form.
- 2023 AIA New York State Design Award