Long Island House – New York Beach Property

Long Island Beach House, New York Property, Building, Project, Photo, Design, Image

Long Island House

New York Residential Development – design by Thomas Phifer and Partners

29 Sep 2010

Long Island House

Images © Scott Frances

Architects: Thomas Phifer and Partners

Long Island Beach House

With lyrical waves, the house rises from the dunes, evoking rippled, wind-blown sand, the ocean itself, or a great billowing, surging cloth, staked down at only a few points. Envisioned for a site on the south coast of Long Island, the design proposes a single continuous, undulant surface that morphs from roof to wall to roof, again and again, fluidly shaping the spaces beneath it. Like a tent, it harkens back to the most primeval and fundamental forms of shelter and shading: perched lightly on the earth, allowing the landscape to flow virtually through it.

This rolling crescendo of vaults, in two perpendicular directions, also recalls the exuberant grandeur and elemental silhouettes of a cathedral. Yet the house transcends the massive heft of those structures, embodying instead a nearly weightless quality. Modest in scale and low to the ground, the architecture merges with the wild dunescape, inviting in breezes and sandy bare feet—while gently capturing views out.

Long Island House Long Island House design Long Island Home design Long Island property
image © Scott Frances

Rendered, most likely, as a thin, concrete shell or possibly as fabric on aluminum frames, the roof recalls the eloquent Latin American projects of Felix Candela and his fellow structural innovators.

And while such expressive curves may suggest a new direction for Phifer, they tacitly relate to the practice’s built projects, sharing with them certain underlying instincts and inherent traits. Like the quiet, fine-boned pavilions that form a leitmotif throughout the work, this seamlessly unembellished beach structure reflects a yearning to defer to a larger landscape, minimizing architectural intervention. And just as the sensuously sculptural, almost randomly strewn, skylights of several earlier designs play against otherwise rational lines, this undulant cloak finds its counterpoint in a precisely straight-edged plan.

The design strikes a rare balance, at once disciplined and free flowing, grounded and dynamically hovering. It is a house with calligraphic flourish, writ lightly yet vibrantly in the sand.

Long Island House images / information from Thomas Phifer and Partners

Long Island House images copyright Scott Frances (http://www.scottfrances.com)


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