Riverbend:  So named for its setting, this special residence is taking form on an elevated, 8-acre parcel with views up and down the Connecticut River as well as across to the wilderness of Selden Island. The house is configured as lean and long, and situated to take full advantage of its site.

Essex Riverbend Connecticut  

The inspirational design charge from the clients was simply “we want something that belongs on the river.” What a creative opportunity!  We began to study not whole buildings as prototypes, but rather pieces of construction that capture the essence of river buildings.  A kit of parts emerged:  exposed rafter tails, river jacks (the smaller cousins of beach stones), novelty siding (often seen on accessory structure), diamond-pattern asphalt shingles, a palette of white and hunter green.

Image result for green hexagonal roof asphalt tiles

The combination of these elements yielded something truly amazing: a new house, a new type of house, but one that looks like it’s been there and belongs there.  We are continuing to strengthen connections and the sense of place.  Recently, for example, we tracked downs one large slabs of brownstone for the fireplace hearths and surrounds.

The one-time quarry in Portland, CT. upriver some ten miles, was the lone source of brownstone in the U.S. and supplied all the material for Brooklyn’s famed row houses.  (Read more about the history of the quarry and NYC). Construction on Riverbend will continue through summer of 2020.

image courtesy NYTimes


Inspired material board:


Glazed Porcelain 1 Inch Hexagon | White with Black Pattern 1 Box - 10 sheets/8.4 sf.                                         IMG_0316.png