Joeb Moore, AIA
Kaehler/Moore Architects
Greenwich, CT

Connecticut's taste in residential architecture runs the gamut from grand to discreet, from old world to modern times. Here Moore is building a practice that embraces the contradictions and explores the tension between these seemingly opposing forces. His houses work on a number of different levels simultaneously--familiar and fresh, serious and witty, straightforward and cunning.

Joeb Moore expanded on his thoughts from his earlier panel and demonstrated how his idea of a constantly changing context informed his renovations and addition to the 1951 Brown Residence originally designed by Eliot Noyes.

Joeb Moore reinterprets familiar materials and forms in fresh, often witty ways.
Tracey Kroll Joeb Moore reinterprets familiar materials and forms in fresh, often witty ways.

"Great architects should, on some level, be a provocation--one that comments on our prosaic rituals, while also elevating our awareness of a larger, changing world."--Evan Douglas

Moore used this quote as the overriding theme for his lively and interactive presentation about architectural context and how our many domestic buildings are static in form and style, rather than addressing or challenging our current culture. He explained how the ideals of past architects from 19th-century masters Gottfried Semper and Adolf Loos to mid-century modernists like Eliot Noyes and Philip Johnson inform his decisions today.

Moore talked about how context is always evolving, emerging, and changing based not only on current reality but also on the architect's perspective and point of view. He is concerned with the selling of nostalgia as a product in the form of McMansions or what he describes as media/culture-inflated houses. He feels there's a lack of authentic dwellings that offer inhabitants a genuine sense of place.

Moore used these philosophical points to describe what he felt was the best way to enhance Eliot Noyes' architecture. The developer who bought the property asked that the house better fit the lifestyle of today's homeowner, Moore sought to do this without destroying Noyes' vision for the building and its close ties to the site. Moore showed drawings, photographs, and animated sequences of his sensitive restoration of the original forms, along with his subtle addition of a floating box above the existing house.