Small Spaces With Big Designs

View the winners of the Small Space Design category at CTC&G's 2022 IDAs.

Small Space Design

Winner: Saniee Architects

In New England, it makes sense for a pool house to be something else in the off-season. As architect Mahdad Saniee says, “The program for this pool house called for creating a calm and modern pavilion, which feels like an open gazebo in the summer, yet is fully usable year-round.” His sleek, elegant, Modern structure is about opposing elements: open in summer versus closed in winter, shade versus sunlight, hard patio materials versus “soft” pool water, public areas for lounging versus private ones for changing. Indeed, the open pavilion plan embraces the pool and lush grounds, while during the rest of the year, its solid masonry mass makes it a thoroughly livable dwelling. A daringly dramatic roof extends and slants 12 feet over the front glass to capture sky and sun, while interior skylights bring in natural light in colder months. An engag- ing rhythm of slats filter light and allude to a traditional pergola structure. Glass panels open at the touch of a button, transforming the space from an enclosed room to an open pavilion.

Finalist: Cardello Architects

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Photography by Dennis Carbo

Pun intended: The driving force behind this structure is a 1950s Corvette convertible, so valued by its owner that he wanted to display it as a work of functional art on his property. The client commissioned the Cardello team to design what he adamantly emphasized was to be a car barn and not a garage. To best accommodate the request and to best show off the gleaming vehicle, the architects fashioned a dark, minimalist structure that highlights the car while not overpowering the property. Skylights in the metal roof allow for natural light to pour through by day, while hanging light fixtures work as display spotlights at night.

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Photography by Dennis Carbo

As a result of a newly positioned driveway, the client can effortlessly drive his car in and out of the triple-panel industrial steel doors, and should he wish to add to his collection, there is room for two additional vehicles. Frosted glass panels conceal the car from the roadway, while sliding glass panels on the opposite side keep it in full parked view.

Finalist: Roughan Interiors

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Photography by Jane Beiles

There is fun to be had in a swimming pool but also other kinds of fun in a pool house, like this one designed by Christina Roughan. The columned, pitched-roofed structure punctuated by an oval attic window relates directly to the existing house, with its ample use of stone and sturdy clapboard siding, materials able to weather the New England climate.

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Photography by Jane Beiles

Inside, expanses of teak wood are combined with blue stone and bronze, materials particularly evident in the shower, kitchen, powder room and on the doors. A soft palette of blues, ivory and coral subtly work their way though the structure—a space that is at once chic and sophisticated, but also inviting and approachable. There are multiple areas for lounging and entertaining—at the vigorously articulated stone fireplace with its giant TV screen, around the pool itself, and at a multi-seat outdoor bar. But while the owners and their guests certainly like to take a dip in the pool, the outdoor shower, a virtual room in itself, beckons too.

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Photography by Jane Beiles