The Beach House is located on a narrow barrier island on the south shore of Long Island, an hour and a half from Manhattan. With exposures to the Atlantic Ocean on one side and the Shinnecock Bay on the other, the property is regularly subjected to extreme coastal weather conditions. The design had to reconcile the desire to openly experience the landscape with a real need for protection.
The result was to create a tough exterior shell with an open, light-filled interior. Cast-in-place concrete was used to create a series of robust structural boxes, each defining a different living space and focusing attention on the landscape. An introspective garden space and stair hall enlivens the center of the home. Intricate shadow patterns, created by water-jet cut metal screens, move through the house as the day unfolds. More than ornament, the screens protect double height windows from hurricane force winds.
A retractable awning system provides valuable shade to the full height glazing along the south wall of the main living space. The horizontal shades are aligned with the interior ceiling to provide continuity from inside to out and expand the living space.
Mahogany, limestone, stainless steel and concrete were all chosen for their durability. The concrete was mixed with locally-sourced sand and was left exposed on the exterior and the interior taking advantage of its natural beauty and its legacy from the beach.