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.
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.”
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.