Vincent Falotico’s Ridgefield, Connecticut HomeText by Meaghan O’Neill Photography by Jennifer Holt
Angelina and Vincent Falotico were at a cocktail party when the beauty of Ridgefield first blew their minds. Ten years later, when a nearby property came on the market, the couple suspected they’d found the spot to build their new home. The husband and wife—who had first met in architecture school—were no strangers to high-end residential design; both worked at architecture firm Brooks & Falotico Associates in New Canaan.
Situated on four acres of land along a ridge at one of the town’s highest points, the property was entirely wooded. The trees obscured sight lines, and though no other homeowners on the street had cleared their land, “I had this feeling there was a view,” says Vincent, a partner in the firm. “It was an act of faith.”
Opening up the steep, wooded area wasn’t easy. “It was like a forest—it took a month to clear the site,” says general contractor Robert Lewandowski of L & L Builders. “No one had lived there for years.” But the Faloticos’s belief paid off. Now, the place claims expansive views west over the Hudson Valley and south to New York City. On the Fourth of July, the sky lights up with fireworks from dozens of towns along the horizon.
The couple updated and transformed an existing, small, stone-and-shingle cottage on the property into an artist’s studio. But they tore down the derelict main house because it ignored its bird’s-eye perch.
Sunshine and uninterrupted vistas drove the new schematic design. However, the project’s parallel triumph is its pervasive sense of calmness and contemplation, a notion championed by Angelina, a senior project manager at Brooks & Falotico (and the firm’s first employee in 1990), who was bearing the burden of illness during the twenty months of design and construction.
To achieve desired results, the Faloticos worked to make the house as tall as possible, which required skillfully stacking volumes that negotiate the site’s steep, varying grades. The graceful result also integrates distinct but charming facades, with pretty, traditional windows in front transitioning into walls of floor-to-ceiling dark-framed ones at the back.
The first floor’s open plan includes a kitchen and great room, where “the view is three-quarters sky,” says Vincent. The second floor accommodates four suites plus the main bedroom, which features wraparound windows that demonstrate an effort to continually extend views across more than one wall. Here, a pocket door—almost never closed—also draws the eye into the en suite bathroom, past a floating glass shower and Japanese soaking tub, and back to the outdoors. A spiral staircase from the room rises to the third-floor office and its spectacular 400-square-foot terrace.
Though Angelina recently passed away, the house continues to manifest the couple’s legacy of teamwork in career and marriage. “It’s healing, calm, peaceful, and contemplative,” explains Vincent of the home—exactly how they’d pictured it. Their leap of faith in clearing the site, along with distilling the house down to its most essential components, resulted in a beautiful simplicity that allows for clearing the mind, too.
Architecture, interior design, and landscape design: Vincent Falotico, Angelina Falotico, Brooks & Falotico Associates
Builder: Robert Lewandowski, L & L Builders
October 20, 2020
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