Pool House by Roger Ferris + Partners: 2019 Best of Year Winner for Large Country House
“The more refined and simple something looks,” Roger Ferris + Partners principal Roger Ferris begins, “the more complicated it is to execute.” This 4,280-square-foot pool and guesthouse in Westport, Connecticut, proves his point. Set into an incline overlooking the Long Island Sound, the green-roof structure is barely visible from the rest of the 4-acre property, its scale managed by lowering it into the landscape, most of it concealed behind a berm. A grass entrance slopes down from the lawn between concrete retaining walls, leading to an airy pavilion with a lounge/bedroom and a 75-foot saltwater lap pool. The bathroom, kitchen, and mechanical systems are buried behind it. “It feels like it’s grounded in the earth on one side and then opens up and reaches toward the sea,” the architect notes.
This required some engineering wizardry. With a goal of column-free interiors, Ferris and his team concentrated the structural load on a heavy steel frame tilted slightly back into the hill. The result is what looks like a 35-foot cantilever extending over the pool and retractable glass wall, and out to an aluminum trellis. It all looks deceptively modest. Only at night, when the long skylight glows against the horizon, does the building allow itself to preen.
Project Team: Robert Marx; Myron Mirgorodsky; Brian Ridgeway; Ahmed Arastu; Petra Navratilova.