Venturi & Rauch, Mr. & Mrs. Peter Brant House Addition (Greenwich, CT: unexecuted, 1978-79), model.
This project was commissioned because the family had grown in size with the arrivalof triplets. The parents had diverted their collecting to American antique furniture and American primitive painting. They had intensified their interest in horses to include breeding, polo, and racing, and now had large new stables under construction. They had also changed in more subtle ways, toward a lifestyle of greater formality.
Specigic requirements for the expaned houses were extra bedrooms for family and guests, more service space, a proper dining room, a formal entrance hall with reception room, and a garage remote from the house. A big library was to be added for an extensive collection of books on horse breeding and equestrian sports, and for informal entertaining.
We saw this addition as a challenging opportunity to create a building complex in the easy way the English modified and added to their country houses, over generations, in different architectural styles, and particularly like those houses with Georgian fronts and Elizabethian behinds. Because the original house was frontal in layout, it was easy to place a red brick Georgian facade behind it. From the original front you would then see a Mannerist juxtaposition of a green brick form against a plane of even, red brick bays. This permitted an interior of some formality, but it created as well a degree of idiosyncrasy in plan which was in the vein of another English great-house tradition.
We located the new entrance in the addition so the new wing would dominate as you entered. To promote architectural formality, we created an exterior forecourt at the entrance and on the central axis of the old house. A cross-axis penetrating the entrance hall formed a long gallery connecting the reception room at on end with the library at the other. The living-room in the existing house became the new dining room, at a slightly lower level, on axis with the new front door. Kitchen and service in the existing house remained where they were. New bedrooms were on the first floor. New bedrooms were on the second and partial third floors of the new wing.
The new wing of red brick was rather literally in the style of a late 18th-century manor, its chaste but grand form contrasting with that of the existing house. As a long and narrow elements blocking the old house from the entrance court, the new wing was mainly one facade, a two-dimensional sign--in the end, an expansive gesture.
Architectural Monographs No. 21, Venturi, Scott Brown & Associates on Houses and Housing (1992), p. 49.