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New Modern "Guest House"

This "Guest House" addition represented an interesting result of client-driven vision and city zoning parameters. Due to the agricultural zoning of this property, the client was unable to build a detached modern guest house as first desired. However the result was something special. To achieve an architecture that satisfied a growing multi-generational family along with a modern aesthetic that must be phased in over time, the result was to connect two separate residences with a glass "bridge." This bridging element not only supports a strong architectural massing response, but it also highlights an important programmatic ask of the client: this house should be the ultimate place for a large family get-together.


A formal dining room that seats 18+ sits in in the glass bridge, making a powerful design statement of the owners' values. At the backyard ground level, a kids playroom opens out to a large family swimming pool. Every design decision was taken to strengthen the definitions of and connections between spaces that this large family can use to spend their summers together. The remainder of the addition is designed a grandparent suite, sensitive to accessibility and aging-in-place.

Lastly a material palette for the addition had to be sensitive to the existing house, while also offering a smart set of low-maintenance materials to be used on the existing house when it is to be modernized a few years in the future. Roof slopes, metal panels, rice-based sustainable "wood-like" siding and residential-scale glass facades were key to the architecture balancing a sophisticated present rooted in a visionary future.

The general contractor was Old Greenwich Builders, the interior design was by Dixon Design Studio, and landscape architecture by DIG Studio. Note that this project was under the supervision of HMH Architecture + Interiors

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