Project Detail


House On The Connecticut River

Essex, CT United States

Studio Pali Fekete Architects


Project Description

2006 RADA

Custom / More Than 3,500 Square Feet / Grand

Architect Chad Floyd’s house sits on the north cove of the Connecticut, River, in a colonial-era shipbuilding town. Next door is a marina, and across the water is a pristine natural landscape, a flyway for geese. So it’s fitting that his design plumbs the genetic code of marine architecture, and of 19th century riverboats in particular.

The entry sequence unfolds as though you were coming down to a boat on a wharf between old sheds. Inside, bedrooms—like below-deck staterooms—are on the first floor, with the larger public rooms on top to capture better views and breezes. “Riverboats had a stair that was close to the bow,” says Floyd, FAIA. “You walk in the door and go straight up the stairs.” The house spreads out symmetrically onto sun porches—“glass saddlebags” on the south and north sides that provide passive heating and cooling. They also shade the first-floor bedroom windows, so the occupants can sleep late without getting sun in their eyes. Interior finishes—marine paint, plantation mahogany, and brass fittings—recall the interiors of fabulous old boats.

“It’s all very straightforward carpenter-built stuff, the way those old boats were built,” Floyd says. Our judges agreed. Said one: “It’s romantic and iconic in the best sense of the word.”


Project Details

House On The Connecticut River
Shared by:
Project Team:
    Chad Floyd, Principal In Charge; Peter Coffin, Project Architect.
  • General Contractor: Brenda Huffman 
  • Interior Designer: Brenda Huffman 
  • Landscape Architect: Lester Collins 
  • Project Manager: Nick Deaver 
  • Landscape Architect: Chad Floyd 
Project Scope:
Project Type:
Room Or Space:
Project Status:
Project Size:
    3,600 sq ft


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