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2010 AIA Housing Award Recipient

Category 1: One and Two-Family Custom Residences

Spiral House

Photo 1 of 7



    Beautifully considered exterior
    spaces that provide
    opportunities for residents to
    view one another from different
    outdoor “rooms.”

    Conceptually taut, yet has a
    whimsical quality.

    Simple wood cladding does a
    good job regularizing the
    elevations and the changes in


    2010 AIA Housing Awards

    Andrew V. Porth, AIA, chair
    Porth Architects, Inc.
    Red Lodge, Mont.

    Natalye Appel, FAIA
    Natalye Appel + Associates

    Geoffrey Goldberg, AIA
    G. Goldberg and Associates

    Grace Kim, AIA
    Schemata Workshop

    Jane Kolleeny
    Architectural Record

    New York City



Joeb Moore + Partners Architects, LLC



Old Greenwich, Conn.

Notes of Interest

Situated along the Connecticut shoreline of Long Island Sound, this single-family house is conceived of as an extension of both its natural and social contexts. Building on the site is regulated not only by the implied aesthetic expectations of a neighborhood association, but also by town zoning regulations on height and yard setbacks, as well as FEMA regulations requiring structures to be raised above base flood zones.

The crux of the project lies in the juxtaposition of two systems of geometry—projective and radial—defining the project’s response to these environmental and social conditions in both formal and conceptual ways. Projective geometries render the site as pure landscape; that is, as an expanse of scenery that can be viewed from a single point. The radial geometry at work in the house, tied to notions of water, waves, and sea, creates the spiraling form that relates social spaces to private spaces and seamlessly adjoins interior with exterior. The vortex of the spiral lies in the center of the house, where the front “porch” terminates into a gray-water cistern. In this way, the house subtly utilizes its formal effects in a performative way, to make a form derived from its zoning constraints and an aesthetic interpretation of its surroundings into a viably sustainable project.

On the exterior, vertical “battens” of Western Red Cedar re-interpret the traditional vernacular of New England “Shingle Style” board and batten techniques. These battens are offset from the building’s substrate tongue-and-groove siding with stainless steel fasteners, creating a lattice-like effect.




Robert Silman Associates, PC


General Contractor


Frank Talcott, Inc.


Photo Credit


© Jeff Goldberg, Esto Photographics Inc.


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