This simple residence defines a place of quiet contemplation from city life. Eastern Long Island’s unique landscape of flat expanses of land, open fields, and vast exposure to the sky is vital to the architectural solution. Like the tea houses of Japan, the design allows for an appreciation of the passage of time, the changing of the seasons, and the dynamic relationship between man and the environment, the heavens and the earth.
The flatness of the land acts as a datum on which the house is balanced. A grass platform edged in rusted steel plate rises subtlely from the garden and is penetrated by two crystalline glass enclosures. Trees, the surrounding landscape, and the play of sky and clouds are reflected on the surface of these shimmering glass enclosures throughout the day. The larger glass structure, defining a central courtyard, captures light and air and reflects them into the heart of the house below. The other diaphanous glass enclosure contains a stairway providing access to the protected living space.
Drawing from the traditions of ancient Roman and Chinese courtyard houses and Mies van der Rohe’s modern court houses, the spaces of this home open directly to the glass-lined central courtyard. Wood cabinets lining the perimeter of the home conceal all of the services and storage, allowing for uninterrupted expanses of light filled space. From within the court, the ephemeral glass enclosure defines an outdoor portal to the sky framing views of the constantly changing palette of sky and clouds, while tracking the movement of the sun throughout the year.