With roots in Eastern Long Island's modernist design explorations of the 1950s and 1960s, the Amagansett House mingles functional simplicity with energy conservation. To meet the goals of the clients, a family with two young children, the architect created an energy-efficient, single-story, three-bedroom home abundant in light and air.
Design concept and solution: The bar-shaped, 1,900-square-foot building, covered in 4-inch horizontal tongue-and-groove Alaskan yellow cedar boards, was designed to harness the summer ocean breezes with large operable windows on the south side, while operable clerestory windows on both the north and south sides assist in pulling the air through the house. Clerestory windows also run along the east and west sides of the house, allowing light to transverse the house in every direction. Interior spaces are open and uncluttered, with built-in cabinets clad in quartered beech veneer. A polished, 16-inch insulated concrete slab creates an interior floor, which cools the house in the summer. Radiant piping within the slab heats the house in the winter. Other energy-efficient design elements include an east-west orientation, high R-value insulation, deep overhanging roof and sun louvers, and ceiling fans instead of air-conditioning. The overhanging roof and sun louvers work in conjunction with each other blocking out the summer sun, but allowing the winter sun in.