Essex River House

A retired couple decided it was time for a change. Their family had grown and started their own lives elsewhere. Their original house had been in their family for generations and was filled with the furniture and artifacts of all those preceding them. They looked around one day and decided it was time to simplify their lives.

They chose to move to a quiet property on the Connecticut River and build a small one-bedroom house. They sold every piece of furniture, artwork, book, memento and link to the past and started over with a clean slate.

They asked for a modern, open-plan with a connected pool. The pool was to look as if it extended out into the river. They stressed the need for natural light during all parts of the day. The exterior materials were to be natural woods that could weather to a soft grey and not require paint. The interior was to be white, bright and uplifting in both space and spirit. The property was to be a meadow that would not need cutting more than twice a year.

Jefferson B. Riley FAIA, partner in charge and Leonard Wyeth AIA while at Centerbrook. Photos by Norman McGrath.