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Stonington, Conn., Residence

Stonington, Conn., Residence

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    Warren Jagger

    Handcrafted stone walls define the built portion of the property.

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    Warren Jagger

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    Warren Jagger

    Inside the house, the same material reappears as cladding for the oversized chimney.

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    Estes/Twombly Architects

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    Estes/Twombly Architects

Architect Peter Twombly's trip to Italy became the starting point for this Stonington, Conn., house. While brainstorming ways to relate the 3,300-square-foot project to its 7-acre waterfront site, Twombly turned to his memories of walled villages in Tuscany. “In the Italian hill towns, there's a distinction between the manmade stuff inside the wall and the natural stuff outside it,” he says. So he broke the house up into four discrete pieces: a storage barn and woodshop, a garage, a master suite, and a main house. He designed a stone wall to border the project's long, east-facing side. The house resembles a tiny village within a larger natural landscape, just as he had intended.

Dividing the home into separate parts also connected it to a more local vernacular: the New England farm. “It's the same sort of rural components—the barn, main house, outbuildings—but updated in terms of uses,” says Twombly. The driveway leads past the storage barn on the right and the garage on the left, and curves around to face the main house. Only then does the entire project become visible. “It's not all right out in front of you like in a more formal house,” he adds. And the spaces in between the buildings let water views into the compound.

Views take top priority inside the house, too, as large-paned, floor-to-ceiling windows in every major room demonstrate. Windows wrap a bump-out breakfast nook, and the hallway linking the master suite with the main house is almost entirely glass. Standing-seam metal roofs offer deep overhangs to shade the interiors during the summer months. The pitched roofs, the buildings' varied heights, and the stone walls work together to create a pleasing overall effect. “It's very nice compositionally,” said a judge. “It's massed really well,” echoed another. “It almost looks like an existing structure.”

Project Credits
Entrant/Architect:
Estes/Twombly Architects, Newport, R.I.
Builder: Bob Wood, Stonington, Conn.
Interior designer: Design Site, New York City
Living space: 3,300 square feet
Site: 7 acres
Construction cost: Withheld
Photographer: Warren Jagger

Resources: Bathroom plumbing fittings: Dornbracht, Grohe, and Hansgrohe; Bathroom plumbing fixtures: Bain Ultra, Duravit, and Toto; Dishwasher: Miele; Entry doors/patio doors/windows: Marvin; Garage doors: Overhead Door; Hardware: Omnia; HVAC equipment: Buderus and Carrier; Insulation: Icynene; Kitchen cabinets; Siematic; Kitchen plumbing fittings: KWC; Kitchen plumbing fixtures: Kindred; Oven: Gaggenau; Paints: Benjamin Moore; Range: Thermador; Refrigerator: Sub-Zero; Roofing: Atas; Shades: Lutron and Vimco.