Alisberg Parker Architects Designs a New Home in a Historic Neighborhood
April 12, 2023
Alisberg Parker Architects puts their own twist on the colonial vernacular.
Text by Alyssa Bird Photography by Photography by Shaun Gotterbarn, courtesy of Alisberg Parker Architects
Seamlessly inte-grating a new structure into a historic neighborhood is easier said than done, but Alisberg Parker Architects was up for the challenge. When a pair of empty nesters looking to downsize contacted the firm, they planned to simply renovate their existing 1890s Greenwich farmhouse. After coming up against a metaphorical wall (and literal foundation problems), the homeowners and architecture team decided that the only way forward was to start from scratch.
“The neighborhood is filled with colonials built in the early 1900s, which was the inspiration for this house,” says firm principal and partner Ed Parker. “The owners wanted the home to fit into the surrounding area while incorporating a more contemporary feel.” Indeed, the 2,500-square-foot five-bedroom residence features a simple gable roof seen on many nearby structures—as well as the site’s former home—but the architects had a bit of fun with the exterior. “We cut into the volume with a more contemporary front door and kept the detailing very neat and clean,” says Parker.
Site regulations prohibiting an attached garage presented one of the biggest challenges for the design team, so they conceived a plan that fudges the fact that the garage is technically considered detached.
“There is an open-air stairway between the garage and house that leads to the balcony over the garage,” explains Parker. “Initially we didn’t know what to do with the space above the garage, but this makes the most of the small lot and offers privacy.”
The contemporary touches extend to the inside, which features an open floor plan with sleek finishes. “You walk through the front door into a large, expansive space with a stairway that runs from the basement up to the third floor,” says Will Jameson, the firm’s director of interior architectural design. “The staircase binds the house and provides a feeling of cohesion. It almost has the sense of a New York townhouse.”
When it came to the layout, the homeowners gave clear directives: one main living area as well as rooms for their two grown children, an office, and outdoor space. “We utilized every square inch of what we had,” says the homeowner. “The house shines. It stands out, but it also fits in so nicely with its surroundings.”