desai chia builds 'ledge house' next to a prehistoric boulder in the connecticut valley

desai chia builds 'ledge house' next to a prehistoric boulder in the connecticut valley

under a blanket of trees in cornwall, connecticut, is a new home designed by desai chia architecture. situated on a large rock ledge, the design of this contemporary residence had to consider an usual neighbour – a prehistoric ‘glacial erratic’ that was deposited hundreds of thousands of years ago when glaciers formed the appalachian mountains in eastern north america. 

desai chia builds 'ledge house' next to a prehistoric boulder in the connecticut valley

all images by paul warchol

 

 

the clients approached desai chia architecture with the idea of building a home that would resonate with the history of the connecticut valley while also incorporating environmentally friendly materials. the first step was to remove an existing cabin on the site and use its foundations, which saved money and reduced construction waste. the program for ‘ledge house’ adds to and simplifies the original footprint of the cabin. in doing this, the new house is brought closer to the boulder, making it a rugged companion and muse for the uphill forest views.

desai chia builds 'ledge house' next to a prehistoric boulder in the connecticut valley

 

 

the form of the house was inspired by indigenous barns of the area as well as the nearby, historic west cornwall covered bridge. a clever structural system utilized balloon framing techniques – the beams, walls, sheathing, and a carefully calibrated nailing pattern allow the structure to perform as a unified diaphragm, eliminating the need for exposed cross bracing. the interior vaulted ceilings are open volumes of space accentuated by clean planar surfaces.

desai chia builds 'ledge house' next to a prehistoric boulder in the connecticut valley

 

 

the living room, dining room and kitchen form the nucleus of a large breezeway through the house; the breezeway was strategically positioned to take advantage of the views to the valley, the uphill cross-ventilating breezes, and the boulder. the nucleus living area between them allows the owners and their guests to merge and socialize together in a lofted, open area that connects across the ledge to a forest terrace and a valley terrace: indoor and outdoor living flow seamlessly through.

desai chia builds 'ledge house' next to a prehistoric boulder in the connecticut valley

 

 

a master bedroom suite is located at one end of the house; two guest bedrooms are at the other. the interior finishes are light and airy. the exterior of the house is clad in shou sugi ban siding which offers a rot-resistant and bug-resistant finish that also articulates the iconic form of the building. 

desai chia builds 'ledge house' next to a prehistoric boulder in the connecticut valley

desai chia builds 'ledge house' next to a prehistoric boulder in the connecticut valley

desai chia builds 'ledge house' next to a prehistoric boulder in the connecticut valley

desai-chia-the-ledge-house-connecticut-designboom-1800-1

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