On the Market: Darien house built as one with shoreline
DARIEN — Challenges abound when architects are creating residential structures on properties on and around Connecticut’s rocky shoreline. Norwalk architect Bruce Beinfield rose to the challenge when he designed the 5,544-square-foot contemporary house at 1 Beverly Place in Darien’s private Salem Straits Association.
Beinfield incorporated the house into the 1.39-acre level and sloping landscape rife with rock ledge and bisected by a stream working with rather than fighting against the topography. Even the heated in-ground swimming pool and spa raised. In addition to the inspired siting of the house, which sits on Scott’s Cove leading into Long Island Sound, the architect created an enclosed interior glass bridge over the stream and a long boardwalk that leads from the street to the front entrance.
The more easily accessible entry into the house for its residents is through the three-car attached garage. The glass bridge connects the garage and the guest bedroom suite above it to the main house. The guest room features sliding barn-style doors to separate the bedroom from the sitting room. Its bath has a gray textured sink.
Built in 2015, the house blurs the lines between traditional New England shingle and contemporary styles. The innovative design and construction capture the beauty of the property and its waterfront surroundings while also capitalizing on the privacy of the setting. In addition to the rock ledges there are rock gardens, stone paths, and gardens of landscaped sea grasses and other appropriate plantings.
In place of an entrance foyer this house enjoys a long gallery with a mix of wood and slate flooring, hidden speakers in the walls, and special lighting for displays of artwork. Inside, the architectural elements continue to impress. There is the sculptural floating wood and metal staircase to the second floor that one person said resembles the folded paper of Japanese origami. It was brought into the house in pieces and was welding into place on site. There is a visually interesting ceiling of one-inch wood slats in the living and dining rooms, which also have squared recessed lights rather than the typical round shaped ones. The angular squares are more fitting in this space.
There is a wide open floor plan and copious amounts of floor-to-ceiling glass windows to take advantage of the water views. And, in fact, the architect designed the house to include mitered walls of glass in some corners so more of the exterior view is appreciated from inside this home without obstruction. “An engineering feat of beauty,” as one website referred to mitered glass walls. The underground utilities ensure the view will never be obscured.
The floor plan creates a cavernous great room comprising the living and dining rooms and the gourmet kitchen, all of which have five-inch wide oak flooring with a special stain. The living room has a long rectangular fireplace, a movie theater/nightclub A/V system and ultra-high-end home theater featuring a hidden projector and commercial-grade, drop down, acoustically transparent screen. The window shades are controlled electronically.
ABOUT THIS HOUSE
ADDRESS: 1 Beverly Place
FEATURES: 1.39-acre level and sloping waterfront property, located in the private Salem Straits Association, geo-thermal heating and cooling, underground utilities, screened-in cube, wood deck, heated in-ground swimming pool, spa, private dock, glass bridge, Savant whole house automation system, FEMA compliant, spray foam insulation, CAT5 wiring, eight-zoned irrigation system, wet bar, two fireplaces, invisible pet fencing, cedar wood roof, walk-up attic, attached three-car garage, close to shops and train, five bedrooms, six full and one half baths
SCHOOLS: Tokeneke Elementary, Middlesex Middle, Darien High School
MILL RATE: 15.77 mills
ASSOCIATION FEE: $1,000
In the dining room there is a wet bar with an ice maker, and both rooms provide access to the patio and pool area, which also features an built-in gas grill and an architecturally interesting cube that serves as an “outdoor” family room. It is heated, has a fireplace and high-end speakers. This property also enjoys a private dock.
The sleek 21st century kitchen was designed to have cabinetry and appliances disappear into surrounding walls. Features include Dornbracht instant hot and cold filtered water, custom cabinets, a center island topped with durable, indestructible Caesarstone, and high end appliances - among them a Gaggenau 36-inch induction range top, 30-inch Miele master chef oven, and Miele refrigerator. In the large butler’s pantry and food preparation room behind the kitchen there is additional counter space, another center island, and a tall Sub-Zero wine refrigerator. Beyond the pantry is a mudroom with sunny yellow cabinets and cubbies.
The family room has textured grass cloth wall-covering and a full bath, which can be accessed from the hall or the exterior so it doubles as a cabana with towel storage and a bench in the changing area. The family room also has frosted sliding doors into an office.
On the second floor there are four bedrooms, all en suite and with its walk-in closet. In the master suite there is a featured wall covered in gray flannel. It has two walk-in closets. The master bath has a floating vanity, heated towel rack, radiant heated floor of porcelain made to look like concrete, and a soaking tub in front of a large window allowing for views of the cove.
All this is just minutes from top-notch restaurants, shops, beaches and the Metro North train station.