This house in Rowayton, CT is approximately 4,000 sf including the basement, 1st and 2nd floors. It is being built on the site of a previously existing 2,200 sf home. The original intention of the owner was to keep as much of the existing structure as possible. In this case, however, the ceilings of the existing home were all 7’-0” tall and the structural members of the home could not economically support any additions. (Large quantities of steel would have had to be added. This was a disappointing revelation for both the home owner and the architect shared the goal of creating a very green, LEED certified home and keeping the existing home from entering the landfill is a big first step in sustainable construction.
Once it was decided to tear the existing house down and start fresh, we were given a bit of a blank slate as far as design went. We had a few parameters to work with:
1. The footprint would be limited by zoning code to approximately 1400 sf.
2. The house would be turned to face due solar south for a roof PV installation.
3. The driveway could not be moved.
4. The major living spaces in the house should face the view (a small pond and stream in the back yard.)
5. The first floor would be open living space, the second floor would hold 3-4 bedroom for the family of 4 and the walk-out basement would house playroom, guestroom, mudroom and garage.
6. The clients were invested in the idea of having a great house for entertaining.
7. The clients were very invested in the idea of having an extremely energy efficient and healthy house that they would have LEED certified and would do so for the purpose of promoting environmentally friendly building.
With these parameters in mind we came up with these floor plans.
The house is highly suitable to the family and every space is utilized. There are no useless living rooms and dining rooms that are only used 2 times a year. The spaces are flexible enough to work for the family during day to day life and for friends and parties when needed. For example, the dining room is designed to be intimate in its located space but able to expand out into the foyer when a long table is desired. The bedrooms were designed as more intimate spaces for sleeping only with large closets storage, sitting rooms and bathrooms for other uses that often creep into bedroom living.