Monday, January 07, 2008

Sketch Pad: A Renovation on Long Island Sound

The Sunday Times has a new feature, called Sketch Pad, in which they find a house or an apartment that needs work, and then they ask an architect to design something new for it. Yesterday's happened to be a house in Clinton, Connecticut, on a tidal creek that leads to Long Island Sound. It's not modern, particularly, but it sounds like a good way to readapt a decent house rather than razing it and building a McMansion. And they strove for energy efficiency:

The whole house has been redesigned for the conservation-minded. Although the windows facing the marsh have been made much bigger, they are certainly more efficient than the tiny ones that inexplicably offered only a peek at the marsh and the tree-covered point beyond. The existing fireplace has been kept; the architects envision geothermal heating, solar collectors and scads of insulation.

I laughed at this part:

“If the phragmites are cut down,” Mr. Grover said, “you could put in a walk to the dock.”

Sure. Phragmites probably should be cut down, but convincing the local wetlands commission to let you do so and then put a walk through the wetlands would take longer than getting the house built.

Here's the story. Click on the slideshow, on the left side of the Times page, for a good look and some interesting audio from one of the architects, William Grover.

I also posted this on Modern, our new blog.



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