David Prutting, of Prutting & Co. Custom Builders, is a risk-taker and self-described “patron of architecture and good design,” which is why he bought a infill lot in the suburbs of New Canaan, Conn., and worked with Joeb Moore, AIA, of Joeb Moore + Partners, Architects on a modern spec house.

The site—a ¼-acre lot near multifamily housing and the city’s downtown and commuter train depot—was iffy at best, Prutting says, but he wanted to bring city living to the suburbs, within close proximity to attractions, services, and transportation. “This was a reach,” he says. “I had a concept of a building with a rooftop, sort of an urban-style building in suburbia.”

The duo built a highly contemporary steel building (to achieve large expanses) and used poured concrete floor decks that were embedded with radiant heating. “I gave Joeb a list,” Prutting says. “I wanted a rooftop, and world-class architecture.”

Moore says the site was largely unbuildable and zoned for multifamily housing, but they wanted to use the landscape to create views. The concept included a splayed design of viewing tubes that created a series of side gardens and parks, “very much trying to work with this idea of gradations of landscape transitions between social spaces and urban and more urban gardens,” Moore says.[JL2]

The house appears as two buildings locked together. Clad in pure zinc and wood, the home has a roof garden, space for a swimming pool, photovoltaic systems, passive domestic hot water, and geothermal heating and cooling. Moore says it borrows and revamps a 1950s idea in which all the support spaces are on one side of the building, while the display and living spaces are on the other.

The home has not found a buyer yet, but Prutting is confident that the home’s LEED certification and location—40 miles from Manhattan—will be a draw to the right person or family. See a q&a with Prutting about the project here.