If any town in America breathes the rarified air of architecture today, it’s New Canaan, Conn.
It’s close to midtown and Cambridge. Homes there sell for an average of $2.7 million. And in the 1940s and ‘50s, it was a fertile hotbed for the modernist experiments of Phillip Johnson, Marcel Breuer, Landis Gores, John M. Johansen and Eliot Noyes.
Still, it evolves.
In 1998 local builder Dave Prutting bought a Noyes home, working with Joeb + Partners Architects to rebuild it. The experience drove his work to a new direction. “We addressed the issue of what to do with these mid-century moderns,” Dave said. “It’s fun to work with great designers. Joeb was sensitive and attuned to the home’s heritage.”
In 2008, they turned their attention to new construction, with a townhouse project on Park Street in downtown New Canaan. “It’s well-designed, and well-done,” he said of the four-story home near train station, coffee house and churches. “It fits within the context of the neighborhood. It’s scaled beautifully – it doesn’t loom or overwhelm.”
The 5,000 square foot townhouse is centrally located within walking distance from the train station, post office, coffee shop and churches. “That’s the trend here in New Canaan,” Dave said. “People want to move into the village. They want to drop the big properties, the overhead and the maintenance. They want to walk to the train now.”
The townhouse is built of materials to stand the test of time: structural steel, concrete slabs and decking, with red cedar board siding and a zinc wrap. With photovoltaic panels, solar hot water system, quartz floors with radiant heat, and high-end glazing for windows and doors, Dave’s hoping for LEED Silver status.