It started as a way to bring three generations of family, spread across the globe, under one roof. Expertly sited on a two-and-a-half acre lot with private waterfront access, a 7,200-square-foot residence in Water Mill, New York, serves as home base for five adults and five preteens for summers, weekends, and holidays. “The challenge was making a viable whole for a family with disparate interests and age groups,” says architect Andrew Berman.
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A large chef’s kitchen for entertaining friends and family sits at the heart of the T-shaped plan’s two-story wing. Extending from it, a one-story leg with guest quarters comes together with a lower, canted offshoot containing the garage, their roofs blanketed with wildflowers. These volumes hug an entry courtyard where the acid-etched glazed facade is opalescent by day and a welcoming lantern at night. At the western end of the house, the living-dining area opens onto the pool patio. Each veranda is sheltered by cantilevers ranging from 6 to 12 feet deep.
“The design was generated from the siting, in order to make use of every inch of land,” says Berman. With landscape architect Coen + Partners, he maneuvered around a series of complicated wetland and property-line setbacks to create a house open to its stunning backdrop. A gravel path encircles the perimeter of the property; supports for espaliered roses and fruit trees surround a tennis court; and a vast lawn hosts family soccer games.
Like most houses in the Hamptons, the flat-roofed structure is clad almost entirely in cedar, but with a twist: rather than the ubiquitous shingle siding, Berman used long, narrow boards of bleached wood. Horizontal bands of board-formed concrete on the exterior walls of the two-story wing’s lower level contrast with vertical wood boards that sheathe the private upper levels. Douglas fir lines the interior on the lower level, where Berman kept the material palette to a minimum.
Gross square footage: 8,000 sq ft
Completion Date: 2012
Andrew Berman Architect
Personnel in architect's firm who should receive special credit:
Geo Tech Engineer:
SCI Builders Inc
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Special interior finishes unique to this project:
Interior ambient lighting
Other unique products that contribute to sustainability:
Sustainable design principles were employed in order to maximize prevailing breezes and utilize a geothermal closed loop system for cooling and heating.