In a forest near Westbrook, Connecticut, is where you’ll find Riverbend, a recently completed project overlooking the Patchogue River. Designed and built by local architect Bob Furno, the wood-and-steel structure offers two separate units—Alpha and Beta—the first of which is currently for sale.
“The design concept of the property came from the quest to ensure that each unit in a two-family home has its own distinct identity,” says Furno. “Corrugated galvanized steel and triple-wall, clear polycarbonate was used to clad Alpha. For Beta, we used more traditional wood siding sourced from a local sawmill.”
Measuring 1,750 square feet, Alpha features two bedrooms, two full baths, and an open, loft-style living area. The sheets of translucent polycarbonite filter ample natural light into the sleek, minimalist interior. Birch panels are reminiscent of Bauhaus design, while floor-to-ceiling windows overlook a picturesque landscape.
Outside, a large deck offers picturesque views of a tidal river and undisturbed salt meadow, creating an idyllic retreat. “The site is steeply sloped, heavily wooded, with huge rock outcroppings,” explains Furno. “There is abundant shoreline wildlife, too: Osprey, foxes, egrets, ducks, geese, and shore birds.”
“When we began excavating the site, we uncovered tons of rocks, many of which were massive boulders. To get the full walk-out basement that had been originally planned would have required blasting. Instead, we decided to use the boulders to form a platform, and then floated the living block for Alpha over it to construct the basement under the bedroom block,” continues Furno. “Working closely with an expert machine operator, we were able to move four-to-six ton stones to create the pad and freeform retaining wall terraces that transition from gravel to grass, back to gravel, alternating the material from elevation 30-feet above sea level down to eight feet. The uniquely shaped boulders were used as features in the terraces.”
“The walls are insulated in a manner similar to that of an attic where ventilation is required to prevent moisture accumulation—a wall construction method developed in Northern Europe,” adds Furno. “Outside, the studs and insulation are covered with a breathable house wrap. The final exterior finish is fastened with furring strips nailed to the studs, a method we refer to as a ‘rain screen.'”
Keep scrolling to see more of the home, currently listed for $575,000.