Fluidity in Waterfront Architecture

Round shapes are very conducive to the environment; to the softness of a panoramic view or landscape.

You often hear us talk about how an architectural design should be an expression of the surrounding landscape. This is why you’ll see a lot of roundness and curvatures in our waterfront architecture, as these shapes mimic the fluidity of the nearby coastal waters.


We create a lot of round shapes in our waterfront homes because it’s very conducive to the environment; to the softness of the panoramic view or landscape. These curvatures tend to come with a higher price tag because each shape has to be cut individually out of big sheets of wood; you cannot achieve the shape by simply running lumber the way you do along straight walls and edges. 


This technique of infusing fluidity creates a look that is softer on the eye while also allowing more light to enter the home through panoramic views. Below, we discuss examples of projects where we executed this architectural process:

House On Point


Designed to fully withstand the elements of the coast, this project is built on top of a solid stone foundation. House on Point stands tall on a private peninsula jutting off the Connecticut coast. Views of the Long Island Sound and the distant New York City skyline wrap themselves around the quarter-acre property. 


In order to capture as much of the surrounding view as possible, we decided that the home would curve out towards the sound. Unlike a traditional home, this structure bends like a wave—many of its circular walls are made of glass to welcome the natural lighting that shimmers and reflects off the water. The homeowners now enjoy both the privacy of their own peninsula and the sensation of being immersed in the surrounding landscape. To see more photos of this project, click here.

Old Wharf

Greenwich Cove


Many elements of this Greenwich Cove project incorporate roundness, both on its interior and exterior. The center point of this home is an octagonal library crystallizing many of the homeowner's memories of extensive travels and life in Istanbul. We arranged the floor plan to spotlight the great spaces southwest, turning 45 degrees through ceiling design, furniture placement, and curved waterfront glass.


The finished project is an illusionary and nonconforming structure, and the softness of its exterior facade is a nod to the classic New England shingle style. To see more photos of this project, click here.

Little Cove

Willowmere Waterfront


With unmatched views to the east and south of the property, we knew Willowmere Waterfront would need to capture the full potential of its surroundings. Many of the bedrooms, as well as the playroom area, have rounded walls that provide panoramic views of the waterfront and receive plentiful sunlight. The home is oriented away from the neighbor’s house so the waterfront view would be unmatched and unperturbed. The fluidity of the windowed exterior recalls the Shingle Style and takes advantage of the sun’s angles throughout the day. To see more photos of this project, click here.


Old Greenwich Waterfront


In our Old Greenwich Waterfront project, it was important that the gorgeous coastal views could be enjoyed in almost any room of the house. Built to face away from the neighbor’s house, this structure was instead aligned toward the tidal inlet of the Long Island Sound. Simple and minimal designs in the home meant that more focus would be placed on the view as a backdrop. Glassy fronts place the inlet on display, rounded to take advantage of every angle, with unobstructed by views of neighboring properties. Rooms such as the master bathroom and the dining area are circular, much of the walls taken over by windows, to ensure that the view can be fully appreciated. To view more photos of this project, click here.


Design Your Dream New England Waterfront Home With Christopher Pagliaro Architects


The rounded walls and fluidity of waterfront homes juxtapose the sharp lines of many modern residences that we see today. Rounded features are not only pleasing to the eye but mimic the natural landscape of waterfront living. It is always a joy to challenge ourselves and see how much the view we can put on display using innovative architectural design.


We approach every project with our philosophy in mind: All homes should enhance, as well as reflect, the complete context within the environment. This means we’re intentional about how our waterfront projects reflect the landscape they exist in. Discuss your plans for a custom waterfront home with the team at Christopher Pagliaro Architects—to schedule a consultation, call 203.838.5517 or fill out the form below. 

Want to Learn More About Waterfront Architecture?

Hallmark of a Christopher Pagliaro Architects project is the marriage of the structure and site to create a sense of place. To get started on your waterfront home project, get in touch with our team today.

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