Explore a Prefab Country Escape With a Bespoke Sensibility – Architectural Digest

David Fox and Christopher Stone could have never imagined that springing a leak would lead to a fresh start in the country and a new business model. Eight years ago, however, a plumbing snafu set in motion just that. At the time the couple, founders of the Manhattan-based architecture studio Stonefox, discovered that their shower was accidentally raining down upon the apartment below, necessitating a gut renovation and a frantic search for a temporary escape from the city. Bags packed, they decamped to a rental in Litchfield County, a peaceful pocket of Connecticut where creative types on the order of Meryl Streep, Diane von Furstenberg, and Jasper Johns go to get away from it all. After four years and a blissful conversion to rural weekends, Fox and Stone set out to buy a place of their own. “We wanted a house that was carefree and easy to maintain,” Stone recalls. “But we never found that house.”

Christopher Stone (left) and David Fox, founders of the Manhattan-based architecture and design firm Stonefox, outside their Salisbury, Connecticut, home, which they designed using prefab construction.

Instead, what they found was a pristine lot on which to experiment. Down a dirt road and tucked discreetly between two lakes, the four-acre parcel had languished on the market for many months on account of its restricted building envelope. “No one could imagine how to use the property,” notes Stone. As architects, however, he and Fox are accustomed to finding inspiration in limitations. They set about siting a house at the far corner of the site, with a wraparound driveway and layers of trees and grasses that offer privacy from the road. As for the structure itself, they envisioned a simple barn-like volume that, as Fox puts it, “would fit in with the rural landscape and the iconography of the pitched roof.”

When bids for conventional construction came back with gut-punch price tags, the duo pivoted to prefabricated solutions, adapting a series of modules to create a dynamic Tetris board of spaces, including a double-wide, double-height living area with a mezzanine. “People doing prefab typically go for traditional rooms,” notes Fox. “We went for an open plan.” They were able to exercise greater freedom on the exterior of the house, which they clad in black-painted planks of cedar and punctuated with a syncopated rhythm of windows. “We punched holes like an Advent calendar,” jokes Fox. “We wanted as much openness as possible. We wanted to be able to look up and see the sky.”

Wallpaper by Cole and Son enlivens the library, which is furnished with a bespoke cocktail table, a Paavo Tynell chandelier, and iconic Danish chairs by Hans Wegner and Ole Wanscher.