Long Island Sound

House, and Pool House Westport Connecticut 2010-2011
In Design Development
Design: Cheryl Atkinson with Elmira Yousefi


This property is located in the coastal town of Westport Connecticut on Long Island Sound. It is bounded on its long sides by dense three-storey tall coniferous hedgerows that set the geometry of the site plan. It is approached through an existing allee of majestic 80 year-old maples. The house is stretched like a proscenium around a great central void that frames a gradually achieved view of the ocean. While initially axial, the approach swerves left to a car park. The procession is extended laterally and by foot, beneath the long sheltered overhang of the second floor. The visitor gradually arrives via a stepped ramp along the facade of the house to reach a great void, at which point they turn; ultimately achieving both a view to the ocean, and to the treed park from where they started. The far north and south ends of the house each address distinctly different ocean views; to the north a nearby peninsula of Sasko Hill and to the south, the sparkling open water of the Sound.

Expand I Contract

The design brief mandated the regular accommodation of large formal entertaining spaces for social events and extended family gatherings. On a daily basis, the owners want to live in a more compact space than these occasional uses require. The house is designed as two independent parts, twinned about the central void / entry court. The house is architecturally and mechanically zoned so that the additional bedrooms and entertaining spaces can be closed down when not in use. A pivoting wall at the bedroom level shuts down the guest bedroom corridor. This void space in plan and section both separates and connects the two functions of the house. Sliding glass walls fold away in fine weather to transform this space into an open porch. A private office / studio sits above the void as a widows walk with views to both the park and the sea.

Pool House

The Pool House shields the view of the tennis court from the entry drive, and frames an open lawn between the two buildings. It houses a change room, exercise area and small apartment for guests or future staff. The indoor pool deck looks past the main house towards the ocean. Slide away glass walls open the pool to the exterior in summer. The pool and house are operated with geothermal energy and roofs of both buildings are either planted or decked.