kaehler/moore architects, greenwich, conn.

Designing for a rear lot can be tricky. Not only must the house relate to its immediate neighbors (positioned more prominently at streetside), but the approach is invariably lengthy. “The narrow street frontage and the long drive back from the street helped to produce a kind of forced progression and perspective,” says architect Joeb Moore. “The tall, simple gable form lures the visitor's eye and provides a basic, childlike notion of what a house looks like.”

The tall shingled house with its sweeping—and slightly exaggerated—rooflines and entry tower takes its cues from Victorian structures seen along the 300-foot approach. Here, though, many familiar forms are tweaked. Stainless steel outriggers sub for typical wooden brackets under the standing-seam lead-coated copper roof, and the chimney is topped with perforated stainless steel caps that appear translucent from some angles. The judges admired the ingenuity: “It's really inventive. It takes a familiar vocabulary and makes something different.”

Inside, the plan responds elegantly to the narrow lot, with more formal areas in front and informal spaces in back. “There's a real economy of means,” says Moore. “The house pulls you right up and reaches like a tree. It's a very simple solution to a client's program and the specifics of the site.”

principal in charge: Joeb Moore, AIA, Kaehler/Moore Architects
project architects: Joeb Moore, Rudi Elert, Kaehler/Moore Architects
general contractor: Dan Stasio, Stasio Inc., Ridgefield, Conn.
landscape architect: Richard Horsman, Horsman & Lester: Landscape Architects, Rye, N.Y.
interior designer: Joeb Moore, Kaehler/Moore Architects
project size: 4,800 square feet
site size: 0.5 acre
construction cost: $350 per square foot
photographer: David Sundberg/Esto