For people with even a remote interest in architecture or modern design, the house at 3 Dogwood Lane in Darien is going to take their breath away.

When the right person visits the home at the end of a quiet cul-de-sac, he or she is going to be shocked and surprised to find such a unique house.

Architect Edward Durell Stone designed the house. A close friend and contemporary of Frank Lloyd Wright, Stone designed the Museum of Modern Art in New York and Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C., among others.

From a staid, unremarkable driveway, one gradually climbs a long set of wide stylized stone stairs toward a somewhat unremarkable cabin-like facade. Yet by the time you reach the front of this Japanese-style A-frame, with its colossal two-story front window, you know you're in for something special. The stone path has been expertly blended with brick, while a white-gravel pathway circles the house.

You step into a surprising vista of a staggered brick lattice wall, with a koi pond at its feet. This entryway opens to either side, and while one stands there trying to decide which way to go first, the magnificence of the main room starts to seep into your attention through the partially obscured view.

Somehow you seem to feel like you've ended up in the Orient, but you then find yourself in this magnificent two-story-high room, enveloped in shoji screens, with ficus trees growing out of the floor and soft, luminescent tiles shading the space from above via indirectly lighting. In that moment, you begin to understand the care that went into creating this home.

On the other side of the lattice wall, an open staircase goes up to a loft, which abuts the whole top part of the glass windows looking out at the front of the house. The floor and walls are composed of special cypress wood, the same being true throughout the structure. Both sides of the loft disappear into large areas of storage space, which run the length of the house on either side.

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About this house

ADDRESS: 3 Dogwood Lane, Darien
PRICE: $1,600,000
STYLE: Contemporary
ACRES: 1.1
FEATURES: Koi pond, patio, waterfall garden with bridge, hot tub, two-car garage
SCHOOLS: Tokeneke Elementary, Middlesex Middle, Darien High
ASSESSMENT: $1,378,090
TAXES: $18,130

Most of the 2,300 square feet sit on the first floor, symmetrically situated on either side of the main room, off two long hallways. From each of these are four rooms.

Down the hall to the right of the entrance are the bedrooms, all of which have sliding doors. The bedrooms feature a varied selection of built-in cabinets, and the front and back seem to match one another with their recessed windows.

The second bedroom also has a door, which leads out to a semi-enclosed patio, which has a fireplace and is enveloped by a large pergola.

The hall to the left starts with a laundry and storage area, followed by an efficient, usable kitchen with a door out to another brick patio complete with Japanese maples and a small greenhouse attached to the back of the garage. The kitchen has more of the cypress as countertops, as well a built-in microwave and six-burner electric range.

The dining room is next, with another set of double doors leading outside. This is followed by a living room, with a fireplace positioned against the back of the dining area.

All three main rooms on this side of the house are connected through open space on the far side, against the main wall.

For more information or to make an appointment to see the house, contact Mary Lopiano of Halstead Property at 203-656-6566 or

Jarret Liotta is a freelance writer.