Nestled into its natural environment: Weston Residence

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Weston Residence is a modern single family home designed by Specht Harpman Architects, nestled in a valley adjacent to the Saugatuck River in Weston, Connecticut. The elements of the 2,400 square foot house engage the site in a way that purposefully blurs the transition and distinction between the built and natural environment.

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As the house is approached from a road that begins high on a cliff above, the roofscape—or fifth facade— becomes a critical element of the design.  Terraced planes planted with year-round, region-specific succulents step down the hill.  Bedrooms project out into these roof gardens, giving a feeling of being fully immersed in the landscape.  The planted roofs are also integral to the high-performance building envelope.

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Interior and exterior spaces are joined through views, portals, and material continuity.  A glass-backed fireplace provides an elegant surprise.  Like other glass houses, the landscape becomes the “decoration” for the rooms, playing with transparency during the day and reflectivity at night.

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Specht Harpman was founded in 1995 by partners Scott Specht and Louise Harpman, who began working together while classmates at the Yale School of Architecture. A small company with rigorous standards for modern design, the firm’s award-winning work includes commercial, institutional and residential projects, as well as custom furniture. The firm maintains offices in New York City and Austin, Texas.

Photos: Taggart Sorensen

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