2011 A-List Award Winner
French Charm in Greenwich
THE DESIGN OF THIS RESIDENCE, located in the Greenwich Back-County and overlooking the playing fields of the Greenwich Polo Club, was inspired while the owners were on vacation in the countryside of France. During their travels, they fell in love with the French chateau style of architecture and its Old World charm. Upon their return, they scrapped their original plans for a Georgian style home and asked Wadia to design a French country manor instead. The stone construction, steeply pitched mansard roof, corner tower, hipped dormer windows, and wrought iron balconies are very much in keeping with the French tradition. Yet a separate wing housing the garage extending from the front right-hand corner of the house represents a deliberate departure from the symmetrical nature of the French chateau style. To restore authenticity, Wadia created the illusion of symmetry with a large square motor court centered on the front entry hall of the house. The sense of symmetry is further enhanced by custom designed wrought iron entrance gates, which were set on a direct axis to frame the view of the main body of the house.
The house is sited to accommodate, and complement, an existing apple orchard that was picturesquely laid out in a symmetrical manner. Following this example, Wadia constructed the surrounding landscape in the French manner featuring formal gardens and highly structured geometric spaces — creating a synthesis and integration between the architecture and the property. The site plan for the property was also developed with the owners’ love for horses and polo in mind — thus, all of the living spaces of the home overlook the playing fields. A tall stone wall surrounding the motor court and swimming pool area creates a wonderful sense of enclosure and visually links these separate “outdoor rooms” to the house. A stone pavilion opens out to the pool on one side and provides a lovely view of the clipped, formal garden on the other side. Medieval in feel, the pavilion features the same steeply pitched roof as the house, ocular openings to capture the light, and well-defined stone arches all around. In a recurring architectural theme, the arches are repeated in the motor court arcade and the stone gazebos that provide passage from one garden space to the next. All in all this creates a sense of overall continuity as one moves between the house and its gardens, and it becomes clear that the success of each is dependent on the other.
In 2011 Wadia Associates were recognized with a prestigious A-List Award for the landscape design of this project. In judging the project renown designer, garden expert, and author, Bunny Williams noted “the garden architecture and scale of the elements are superb, the mix of plant materials is excellent.” And leading designer Eric Cohler remarked “it reminds me of the 19th-century and 20th-century English landscape architect Gertrude Jekyll.”