2018 Stanford White Award // Il Cortile in Southport, Connecticut

IL CORTILE
Residential Architecture - New Construction Over 5,000 SF
Architectural Design
Southport, CT

The original Italianate villa at 385 Harbor Road was constructed in the 1850s atop a hill overlooking Southport Harbor on Long Island Sound. The original structure was two-stories, square in plan, and topped with a cupola. In the 1890s the cupola was removed so that a full 3rd story could be added. The house was further enlarged and altered in the 1910s and 1920s. Most recently, in the early 1990s, a large glazed two-story addition was added on the harbor side of the house.

In researching the house, we found historic photographs of previous iterations of the house in the town archives, which informed our new scheme. In our proposal, we eliminated some of the more recent additions, transforming the plan and massing, to create a more coherent, functioning house. We referenced historical details from the photographs, such as a 1920’s era sleeping porch, the original chimneys and trim profiles, and the lost cupola in our new proposals and alterations. We eliminated ahistorical elements, restored Victorian-era elements, and added new elements with those original details to achieve a new but more harmonious whole. 

We proposed replacing the 1990s harbor side addition with a smaller new addition that would be more compatible in design and respectful in scale and integrity to the original Italianate house and its early additions. We added an open porch to face the harbor with two large arch openings and a deck above accessible from the Master Bedroom. The addition to the east of the new porch (including a pavilion on the 2nd story) uses detailing similar in character to the sleeping porch addition from the 1920s.

The Italianate house felt somehow unfinished and incomplete without a cupola so one was added atop the 3rd floor with Italianate details in the spirit of the original house. The interiors which were renovated in the 1990s were mostly gutted and replaced with new interiors more consistent with the original architecture of the house. 

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