New York

Two New York artists, seeking a respite from city life, had lofty energy-saving goals for the renovation of a modest house, built in 1975, on a jagged bluff overlooking Long Island Sound. Shortly after purchasing the 2.5-acre property on the North Fork of Long Island in 2010, the couple tapped New York City–based Ryall Porter Sheridan Architects, a firm with three previous projects nearby, to update the rectangular volume and design a new stand-alone, net-zero, 1,200-square-foot painting studio.

The architects clad the existing three-story, 2,100-square-foot wood-frame structure with timber reclaimed from razed buildings in Brooklyn and softened the rugged wood facade with recessed triple-glazed windows set in aluminum panes. “We wanted that rough look on the outside,” says William Ryall, a firm principal. “Our aim was to make it feel like an artist's cottage in the woods someplace.” The muted interior, containing an open kitchen, dining and living area, an office, and a screened porch, with a master suite above and guest bedroom below, is finished with white and light-gray plywood floors and walls. Wrapped in a thick layer of insulation, the house offers an array of energy-saving bells and whistles: solar panels, windows imported from Germany with an R-value of 11, and an energy-recovery ventilator (ERV) that recovers 90 percent of heat. “The electric bills have been absurdly low,” says Ryall, adding that the clients were charged the minimum of $11 last month. “It's probably the most energy-efficient house on Long Island.”

Completion Date: August 2012

Gross Square Footage: 2,500 square feet


Ryall Porter Sheridan Architects
45 West 21st Street
New York, NY 10010
p. 212.254.1175
f. 212.254.1755

Personnel in architect's firm who should receive special credit:
Architect of record:
William Ryall AIA, PHIUS, LEED

Associate architect:
Intern Architect: John Buckley


Anton Nelson P.E.

David White
Right Environments
268 DeGraw Street
Brooklyn, NY 11231

General contractor:
Phil Manuele
Manuele Contracting, Inc
183 Old Country Rd #200
Speonk, NY 11972

Ty Cole Photography
Otto Photo Agency
793 Broadway, Second Floor
New York, NY 10003

CAD system, project management,
or other software used:




Structural system
Existing 2 x 4 wood framed house from the 1970's, reinforced with steel to achieve new hurricane zone requirements.

Exterior cladding
The exterior is sheathed in a rain-screen composed of recycled floor joists from demolished New York City buildings.

Reclaimed Heart Pine or Douglas Fir [Exterior Rainscreen]
Solid Mahogany [Exterior Decking and Screen Porch Flooring]

Moisture barrier:
Pro clima Solitex
Pro clima Tescon Vana Tapes

Other cladding unique to this project:
Roxal Cavity Rock Rigid Insulation: Exterior insulated panels located behind rainscreen.

Pazen Fenstertechnik Windows by ENERsign
Triple Pane, R10

Wasco Skylight Triple Glazed


Interior finishes
Cabinetwork and custom woodwork:
Custom Cabinet and Woodwork
Rob Russell Design
212 East Broadway #G-405
New York, NY 10002

Paints and stains:
White Lacquered Baltic Birch Plywood [Kitchen + Bathroom Cabinets]
White Washed Plywood- Natural Baltic Birch [First Floor Wall]
Natural Finish Plywood ' Natural Baltic Birch [Millwork]
Grey Washed Ash (or Oak) Hardwood [Stairs + First Floor Flooring]
Light Grey Washed Ash (or Oak) Hardwood [Second Floor Flooring]

Solid surfacing:
Countertop - "absolute black" granite [Kitchen]
Backsplash - Stainless Steel [Kitchen]
Fireplace Surround - Wood Molded Concrete [Living Room]
Vanity Slab - Glacier White Corian [Master Bathroom]
Floor Tile - matt, white "milk glass" 1" mosaic [Master Bath]
Wall Tile - matt, white "milk glass" 1" mosaic [Master Bath]

Eames' Molded Plywood Dining Chair, DCW [Kitchen]
Bertoia Side Chair, DWR [Kitchen]
Womb' Chair in Fabric, Chrome Frame, DWR [Master Bedroom]

Saarinen Oval Dining Table, DWR [Kitchen]

Dornbracht: Tara Logic [Master Bathroom]

Photovoltaic system:
LG Panels, Sunstream USA