Between a Rock and a Hard Place

Stamford, CT   |   3900 Square Feet

One would think that designing for a 2.5 acre wooded lakeshore property would be easy. Not so in this case. Half of this site is in the lake’s flood plain. The terrain is extraordinarily steep (a challenge with the zoning height restriction) with magnificent outcroppings of ledge. The narrow building area is further restricted by 35 foot setbacks on each side, nearly half the width of the site. Throw in a swale running right down the middle of the site, carrying surface water down to the lake through much of the year.

The ambitious design program for a family with two children, two professional home occupations, two grand pianos, frequent guests, a media room, and an exercise room in less than 4000 square included the need to split the house into two sections- one on each side of the swale- and connect them with an interior bridge well above the ground. 

Working in concert with the client’s civil engineer and landscape architect to site the house to meet all of the site related restrictions with the goals of improving the quality of the water that reaches the lake and obtaining green certification for the completed project, we have designed a modern home, carefully positioned between two outcroppings of ledge and spanning the swale

The garage, home offices, and guest suite are zoned for total privacy, connected to the main house with a glass enclosed entry gallery that spans the swale. Those entering the house will be treated to a view of the rugged terrain and water just below the entry, a spectacular view of the lake beyond, and the opportunity for a classical recital on a stunning concert grand. The main house is on three levels; the entry level for family living and entertaining, master suite above, and children’s level, media room, and exercise room below. 

Stone veneer on the exterior where the house emerges from the ledge, a massive stone fireplace in the great room, and polished concrete floors in combination with the warmth of Lindal’s legendary post and beam structure, cedar ceilings and handsome trim will be in total harmony with the natural environment visible from every space in the completed home.