Restoring Richard T. Foster's Round House - Wilton, Connecticut

Architect Richard T. Foster caused quite the stir when his mushroom-shaped house sprouted out of the rural Connecticut landscape in the spring of 1968. Not only did the structure resemble something from the Martian Chronicles, it rotated in both directions atop its trunk-like pedestal. When The New York Times asked Foster—a protégé of Philip Johnson—why such residential designs had yet to catch on, he shrugged: “Look how long it took man to get out of the cave.”

Nearly half a century later, Foster’s Round House—floating over the landscape like a marooned spacecraft—still feels thrillingly radical. But when a pair of Manhattanites purchased the house in 2010 as a weekend getaway, it became clear that it required some upgrades. The owners turned to Atlanta-based architects Merrill Elam and Mack Scogin to breathe new life into their unusual home.

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