Joel Sanders Architect renovated and expanded this midcentury modern home in New Canaan, Connecticut, which was originally designed in 1957 by John Black Lee, a modernist architect often referred to as the sixth member of the Harvard Five.
The New York City-based practice not only updated the interiors of the existing 3,100-square-foot house but also expanded it—in accordance with strict zoning requirements that dictated that the addition be aligned with the back of the existing house, and with the integrity of Lee’s original design.
In the final design, the master suite addition, which measures 2,600 square feet, continues the roofline of the broadly sloping roof, visually unifying the old and the new. As for the renovation of the living areas, the team opened up the interiors by getting rid of a series of small rooms to create a glazed pavilion. Three freestanding wood-clad service cores subdivide the impressive great room into “activity zones.” Bedrooms are placed on opposite wings to allow for privacy between the owners and their visiting family members.
The new great room features walls of glass and clerestory windows that open onto the expansive lawn in the back and the gorgeously landscaped grounds in the front. In keeping with the indoor-outdoor vision of midcentury architecture, the practice also established four quadrants that create outdoor “courts” that extend the program of the interiors outside.