gray organschi architecture, new haven, conn.

Small buildings get attention because every detail is exposed, and there's a lot to admire on this accessory cottage in a meadow overlooking Long Island Sound. Working within strict height restrictions and a program that included an accessible ground-floor bedroom and bath, open kitchen, and loft, the project team made every move count. “It became an essay on scarcity,” says Alan Organschi, AIA. “How do you, with simple moves, create richness?” Simple in plan but complex in execution, the building's eaves come apart, corners detach, and the roof plane folds up into a skylight to create headroom and sight views while accommodating upper-story clearances. These innovative gestures heighten the sense of being on the edge of the land. In the loft and the bedroom downstairs, tall corner partitions slide into a pocket in the wall, putting the occupants at one with the rocky perch. The sloped sod roof is planted with the same sedum species that grows in the meadow, and the interior is wrapped in bleached bamboo.

One judge marveled at the exquisite detailing: “It's like a little music box, organic and joyous. It goes through all these machinations unselfconsciously.”

principal in charge: Alan Organschi, AIA, Gray Organschi Architecture

project architect: Kyle Bradley, RA, Gray Organschi Architecture
project designer: Thomas Sawyer, Gray Organschi Architecture
general contractor: Andy Fowler, Clinton, Conn.
structural engineer: Edward Stanley, Edward Stanley Engineers, Guilford, Conn.
project size: 875 square feet
site size: 3.31 acres
construction cost: Withheld
photography: Courtesy Gray Organschi Architecture.

product specs
bathroom fittings: Duravit USA; bathroom fixtures: DuPont (Corian); bathroom cabinets: Dornbracht Americas; countertops: DuPont (Corian), Get Real Surfaces; dishwasher, oven/range: Bosch USA; flooring (ceramic tile/stone/concrete): Artistic Tile; flooring (wood): Wood Flooring International; hardware: Carl F International (d line), Sugatsune America; hvac equipment: FHP Manufacturing; kitchen fittings: Get Real Surfaces; kitchen fixtures: KWC America; lighting fixtures: BEGA/US, B-K Lighting, Cooper Lighting (RSA Lighting), Louis Poulsen Lighting; refrigerator: Sub-Zero; roofing: American Hydrotech; windows: Bayerwald