Techbuilt House/Aderer House


Carl Koch


1954


Description

Field survey was not conducted on this house.


Significance

The Techbuilt House/Aderer House was completed between 1954 and 1955. Alexander P. Aderer et. ux. acquired the property for the house in 1954. Aderer attended City College (NYC) and Columbia University and served in the Army and Navy during World War II. After the war, he worked for the Atomic Energy Commission. By 1966, Aderer was president of Victor O. Kubes, Inc., a color lithographic plant in New York. His wife Janice was a guidance counselor. Alex, Janice, and their daughter Noel all ran for State Senate at different times, but none of them were successful.

According to notes on the assessor property field cards, the house was one of architect Carl Koch's prefabricated Techbuilt houses. When completed, the Techbuilt House/Aderer House had a rectangular plan, a concrete block foundation, a gable roof, and was of plywood and glass construction. The house was 80% complete by October 1954 and finished in 1955. The Techbuilt House was designed by architect Carl Koch in 1953 as a pre-fabricated house prototype. At least two other Techbuilt Houses were constructed in New Canaan: the Techbuilt House/Swallen House in 1954 and the Techbuilt House/Wilson House in 1958.

Koch designed several affordable prefabricated housing prototypes starting in the late 1940s. The Techbuilt House was one of the most successful and would eventually be available in twenty-two models. When first designed, the Techbuilt House could be constructed (on average) for $7.50/square foot, as compared to $10/square foot for a conventional builder's house and $15/square foot for a custom-built house.

The exterior design of the Techbuilt House was characterized by a pitched roof, large plate glass windows on the gable ends, and deep eaves. Koch had determined that the most economical use of space was achieved by a two-story plan that was essentially an "attic" with high side walls stacked on a partially recessed "basement," allowing for adequate light and ventilation at both levels. The shell of the house was composed of stress skinned panels on a four-foot-wide module. The main entrance could be located either at the gable ends or on the side walls, depending on how the building was situated to the street. The utility core and stairs were located at the core of the house to allow for flexible use of the interior spaces.

The pre-fabricated shell of the house, which included wall panels, end panels, floor panels, roof panels, and beams, girders, and trim, was designed for shipment in a single truckload delivery to a site with a prepared foundation. Once on site, four men could unload the components, frame the house, and roof it within two days. All of the finishing work could then be completed inside. The primary cost savings were created through the delivery method and fast pace of construction. The Techbuilt House could be customized to different sizes and floor plans and allowed owners to finish the interiors to individual taste and budget.

Between 1956 and 1957, a two-car gable-roofed garage with an upstairs studio was constructed on the property. Between 1982 and 1983, a 10'x16' glass-and-steel greenhouse and a 8.5'x13' entrance vestibule were constructed on opposite sides of the house. At an unknown date, a 10'x8' second-story wood deck at the side of the house was completed. According to a 1985 realtor notice, the roof was replaced (1979), the chimney and flashing were redone (1984), and new "thermo" windows were installed in the living room and master bedroom. In 1985, the property was sold to Marilynn H. Love. In 1998, the house transferred to John P. Love. By the 1990s, the studio above the garage had been determined unlivable.


National Trust for Historic Preservation, 2009.