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  • Writer's pictureJohn Mastera, Architect, AIA

Whole-House Remodel from Tired Colonial to a Beautiful Queen Anne Smart House

With the Rosser-Bauer Queen Anne Project project in New Canaan, we aimed to transform a very tired Colonial into a beautiful classical Queen Anne Victorian smart house adapted to modern living. To achieve this, a whole masterplan was created so that the previously overheated back terrace was elegantly turned into a shady porch, grille area and gateway that married the house with the pool.

Making full use of its great southern exposure, the kitchen was converted into a new two-story artistic living space with a rounded panoramic of the landscape and outdoor living spaces for modern living. Daylighting was used to perfectly illuminate the rooms for their purpose.

The goal was to manipulate the many different levels of daylight and sunlight to play-off the subtle curves of the architectural detail and to integrate the window designs to bring in light at multiple levels, give choice views and to particularly come in high above the kitchen in a dramatic 20-feet high cupola and bell shaped roof.

We worked hand-in-hand with Pella’s representative, Alex Shook, to explore the use of “grasslike” curves for the muntins of our window designs that followed the curve of the roof and plan design, featuring finely detailed sash and grille profiles. Alex and his crew at Pella made sure that our design was their reality and they manufactured them perfectly. We also collaborated with premiere builder Hobbs Inc. to ensure that the renovated house seamlessly incorporates internet-connected devices to enable the remote monitoring and management of appliances and systems, such as lighting and heating.

“The seedling of this project was a discussion on how best to improve the old bay window in the kitchen. It used to be prohibitively hot and, working with the owners, we explored and discovered some creative solutions to their exterior and terrace that works for their family.”

The result is an indoor-outdoor place that serves as a central community space for a modern smart home, with design and details that not only compliment its design heritage but also adds drama and architectural interest to the final transformation - an absolutely signature piece of architecture that immediately became an admired “landmark” residence in New Canaan.

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