Joeb Moore & Partners

Joeb Moore & Partners

Greenwich, CT


Noyes Transformation

The Noyes Transformation examines and extends the experimental tradition that emerged from the work of the “Harvard Five” in and around New Canaan, Connecticut during the 1950s. The group’s new model for open, modern single-family dwellings came to define residential design in the region, reflecting the cultural openness and dynamism of the community at large. The Brown Residence, originally designed by Eliot Noyes, is sited in this very context – beset, after decades of use, by a sense of decay – and in need of comprehensive rethinking. The key formal and spatial operations of the transformation focus ideas like repetition, contrast, and negotiation into a study of programmatic play that juxtaposes and connects old and new.

Our redesign proposes the suspension of a simple, clean metallic container directly above the original one-story box (a loosely defined, 9-square grid plan, with subtractions) that mimics the dimensions and proportions of the original building. The second key operation involves the production of a sectional cut, or negative space, through the entire residence along the entry wall. The resultant sectional void and vertical axis promote an entirely new spatial experience. This strategy of intentional disjunction and mimicry is consistent with the abstract formal precepts of Noyes’ design, while extending the same ideas into the disorienting operations of minimalist sculpture, collage, and pop art.

The echoes of this perverse game of repetition and metonymy – by which the original generative design principles are revisited, appropriated and, ultimately, revised – result in a complex set of interconnections between architectural history, aesthetics and the practice of dwelling.

Photography ©David Sundberg/Esto

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Status: Built
Location: New Canaan, CT, US