Westport Meadow House
Architect: Maryann Thompson
This one-story house nestles into a forty-acre meadow on the Westport River. The house is conceived as an indoor/outdoor space which is firmly rooted to its site. 1800 SF of deck stretches along the western elevation and perforates the plan at the entry, creating a modified dog trot. Enclosed by the living room and master bedroom, this dogtrot space becomes an interiorized outdoor room and a threshold between public and private spaces. Large sliding doors at the living room and master bedroom corners open onto the deck, inviting light and cross-ventilation into the body of the scheme, and allowing for a dual reading of these rooms as both interior and exterior spaces. When the doors are fully open these spaces read as "screened porches" rather than traditionally enclosed rooms. Floor and ceiling planes in the living room and bedrooms continue onto the decks, furthering the ambiguity between inside and outside space. Light passes through the four-sided clerestory in the living room, illuminating the volume with changing patterns throughout the day and across the seasons.
A wood-clad "organizing wall" skewers the scheme, around which the program spaces wrap. Storage, HVAC, kitchen appliances and laundry areas are concealed within to preserve unobstructed connection to the landscape. The organizing wall serves as a deep threshold, heightening and reinforcing ones layered passage from the meadow to the river. Program elements are distributed across the threshold depending upon their peak occupancy. The kitchen, breakfast area and office face east to take in morning light, while the combined living/dining room, bedrooms and decks face west and south for afternoon sunsets. Deep overhangs on the western elevation shade the expansive glass, create a shady exterior place to sit and accentuate the overall horizontality of the house, connecting it to the horizon by way of the meadow and river beyond. By utilizing a subtle and simple palette the design echoes its setting while adhering to a fixed budget.