Seaside Residence photos by Matthew Carbone. The exterior features cement board and weathered cedar siding, with portions installed as a rain screen to lighten the overall impact and help delineate the volumes of the structure. Impact-resistant, anodized aluminum glazing is low maintenance and sustainable.
Oyster House photos © Maxwell MacKenzie. One building serves as a gathering and entertaining space with concrete floors and NanaWall doors that can open partially or completely to the adjacent deck. The second building has four en suite bedrooms with balconies.
Oyster House photos © Maxwell MacKenzie
Oyster House photos © Maxwell MacKenzie
Ko’olau Residence photos by Ryan Siphers Photography. Native rock garden walls are mixed with a smooth stucco finish to define interior spaces that bleed into the garden.
North Bay Residence photos by Jay Goodrich
At the North Bay residence, a green roof helps the house blend into its surroundings from the road. A long curved stone wall fortifies the back of the house, while the front is open to the water.
Elm flooring, cherry cabinetry, and fir paneling bring the natural elements to the interior, designed by Holly McKinley.
Wednesday, August 7th, 2013
Whether they’re perched on the tidal marshes of Chesapeake Bay or nestled in the lush mountains of Kaui‘i, these retreats are all about the views.
Design: Stelle Lomont Rouhani
Location: Long Island, NY
“How the structure relates to the site is a direct response to the site itself,” says Stelle Lomont Rouhani Architects’ Michael Lomont of this sleek Southampton beach house, which is perched on a dune between the ocean and the bay. Materials were chosen for their simplicity, sustainability, low maintainability, and harmony with the sea, sand, and vegetation. A wooden cantilevered trellis provides sun protection on both the ocean and bay sides, and is extended throughout the entire ceiling, blurring boundaries between inside and out. Public spaces are located on the upper floor, extending out onto a series of decks, while the lower floor is separated into guest and owner spaces. One of the biggest design challenges was having to reuse the existing pilings and footprint from the original structure, with a minor addition, and designing a house that didn’t feel compromised by this. “Being extremely limited in the size and location of the footprint actually informed a lot of the design decisions,” Lomont says.
“The house is somewhat of a bridge between the two bodies of water—one rough and endless, the other finite and serene. We wanted to maximize views while limiting any visual obstructions, maintaining the visual connection to these bodies of water with limited interruptions.” – Michael Lomont
Design: Dale Overmyer Architects
Location: Honest Point, Virginia
Although it’s a thoroughly modern home, Dale Overmyer Architects’ Oyster House is solidly rooted in the past. The steel, glass, and wood structure sits on the footprint of an old oyster processing plant on a narrow strip of land—accessible only by pedestrian bridge or boat—where the Potomac River flows into the Chesapeake Bay. The site’s history is visible in the home: “The fireplace surround is made from the old concrete foundation of the oyster plant. It’s encrusted with the oyster shells upon which the concrete was originally poured,” Overmyer says. He divided the house into two distinct structures that are connected by a glass bridge. The first is an airy, glass-enclosed, sloped-roof “pavilion” that houses the kitchen, dining and living rooms, and outdoor areas for entertaining. The second contains bedrooms and provides visual and acoustic privacy. Both offer panoramic water views.
“The goal was to create a weekend retreat that put guests in the most dramatic part of the site—a prominent point of land in Virginia where the Potomac River meets the Chesapeake Bay.” – Dale Overmyer
Design: De Jesus Architecture & Design
Location: Kaua‘i, Hawaii
Cooling trade winds blow through this Hawaiian retreat on a gently sloping piece of land between the mountains and the ocean. “There are three powerful geographic elements of the site: the mountains, the ocean, and the open, gentle slope between them,” says architect Tony De Jesus of De Jesus Architecture & Design. The house and its water features—from the entry to the pool—were designed to flow downward, mirroring the natural flow of water from mountains to ocean. As a gathering place for a family with young children, there had to be plenty of common spaces and room for extended family and friends. De Jesus organized the house into four pavilions: a living pavilion with a common living, dining, and kitchen area that opens to terraces on either side; a guest pavilion with three guest suites and a kitchenette; a family pavilion with a kids’ bunk room and master suite; and an office pavilion. The siting for each provides shelter from forceful storms and access to trade winds for passive cooling. The house is well appointed with all the luxuries of a small resort (pool, fire pit, outdoor showers, yoga deck, private gardens), but still feels like a home. “If luxury is accommodation,” says De Jesus, “this house has it all.”
“The site is situated between a low ridge line to the south and the ocean to the north. There exists a sense of balance between mountains and ocean—maybe it’s the feeling that the distance from site to mountains and site to ocean are equal, or maybe it’s the gentle slope of the site.” – Tony De Jesus
North Bay Residence
Design: Prentiss Architects, Inc.
Location: San Juan Island, Washington
Part rocky shore, part sandy beach, this property on San Juan Island off the coast of Seattle is blasted by sun in the summer, and pounded by wind in the winter. To make the most of the stunning views and solidify the structure’s position within the landscape, Geoffrey Prentiss of Prentiss Architects bolstered the house with a long curved stone wall and low roof in the back. In the front of the home, facing the water, he designed a large glass, steel, and wood pavilion that serves as a dining and living area with a protected outdoor fireplace. A vegetated roof integrates the house into the site from the road. “It softens the feel,” Prentiss says, “and makes the house part of the original natural fabric and less of a man-made, imposed creation.”
“The property was narrow to the water, with the county road directly behind it. I wanted to create something that felt its back was secure and its front open—thus the long, curved stone wall at the back and lots of glass on the water side.” – Geoffrey Prentiss