Meeting the challenge to gently place a home into a valley below the access road and adjacent to a scenic river, Weston Residence is both a primary residence and an award-winning example of minimal site impact architectural design. 

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A home with the roof covered in green

Specht Architects designed the home, a 2,400-square-feet house that rests along the shores of the Saugatuck River in Connecticut. Purposefully built to create a small footprint and blur the lines between the home and the lush surroundings, Weston Residence’s first impression begins with the drive down from the road above where visitors get their first glimpse of multiple tiers of green roofs.

Related: These low-cost housing solutions are made from bamboo

A rectangular pool with seating beside it

Covered in locally-sourced succulent plants year-round, the roof effectively makes up a fifth facade of the home, and it’s not just visible from above. With one layer of the home crisscrossing the lower level, the bedrooms are situated in a way that layers the green design so it’s both visible and accessible from the bedrooms. 

A firepit and living room space that faces glass walls

The green spaces incorporated into the home help it meld into the surrounding 3.5 acres of forest and mature landscaping, a progression that can be seen from nearly every room in the home. Conceived with a goal of full immersion in the outdoor spaces, Weston Residence features copious natural light through unobstructed windows. 

When shade is needed, window blinds are readily available. Otherwise, they remain tucked away in a hidden track. This seamlessly connects the interior to the exterior with minimally obstructed views. Continuing the theme of openness throughout the home, spaces feature an open design. However, hidden doors can divide rooms for privacy when needed. 

A bedroom that faces the glass windows

The green roof and natural lighting also contribute to the energy-efficient design of the home, which also features glazed windows and natural materials throughout. Furthermore, glass is a familiar theme throughout the spaces, culminating with a glass-backed fireplace for transparency. Emphasizing the same clean lines, the volumes of the home are made from cast-in-place concrete and cement-board panels. Floors are made up of polished concrete and bamboo walls bring a natural element to soften the primarily glass and concrete interior design

A grass area facing a pool area

Weston Residence offers a garage and guest suite, as well as living, dining and master bedroom spaces situated specifically to overlook the river alongside the home. 

+ Specht Architects

Images via Jasper Lazor