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Gray Organschi Architecture

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  • Thomas Sawyer
  • General Contractor: Andy Fowler
  • Structural Engineer: Edward Stanley
  • Courtesy Gray Organschi Architecture.

Project Status



875 sq. feet



Room or Space


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Project Description

2009 RADA
Custom / 3,500 Square Feet Or Less / Grand

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.”
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