Gray Organschi Architecture — Architects Elizabeth Gray and Alan Organschi’s design for a 950-square-foot guesthouse overlooking Long Island Sound fits a full program—a living/dining room, a bedroom, bathroom, and kitchenette—within a limited footprint.

Tucked behind the client’s Guilford, Conn., home, the cottage is carefully integrated into a garden site dotted with large oaks and granite outcroppings. Local zoning regulations designated the little house an “accessory building,” curtailing both height and square footage.

Unfazed by the strict codes, the architects created a structure that employs environmental solutions such as a geothermal HVAC system and a sedum-covered shed roof, which pitches rainwater back into the landscape. FSC-certified bamboo is used exclusively inside the cottage to line the walls, ceiling, and floor. When sunlight pours in through the large windows, the space glows. Where two panes of glass come together at the corner, the jamb nearly disappears, visually erasing the threshold between inside and out, contributing to an overall design that Marion Weiss called “incredibly elegant and lovingly detailed.”

Project Credits

Client Brooks & Suzanne Kelley Architect and Construction Manager Gray Organschi Architecture, New Haven, Conn.—Alan Organschi, Lisa Gray (principals); Kyle Bradley (project architect); Thom Sawyer (project manager) Structural Engineer Edward Stanley Engineers General Contractor Andy Fowler Size 950 square feet