Northwest Harbor in East Hampton, NY

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Northwest Harbor

Residential East Hampton Building, NY, USA – design by Bates Masi + Architects

Nov 8, 2016

Northwest Harbor in East Hampton

Location: East Hampton, NY, USA

Design: Bates Masi + Architects

Northwest Harbor in East Hampton

Straddling freshwater wetlands and a tidal estuary just six feet above sea level, the Northwest Harbor house’s site demands extraordinary sensitivity to environmental concerns.

Northwest Harbor in East Hampton

Local zoning restricts the structure’s maximum coverage and proximity to wetlands areas, while FEMA requirements set the first floor structure above the base flood elevation.

Northwest Harbor in East Hampton

The house’s basic massing is therefore predetermined, limited to a one story, 1,900 square foot design, raised eight feet above the ground.

Northwest Harbor in East Hampton

The spaces within this envelope are arranged, articulated, and fenestrated based on an innovative structural system that infuses the house’s inner areas with light and circulating air.

Northwest Harbor in East Hampton

Whereas most waterfront construction uses pilings to establish an artificial ground plane upon which a conventional house is built, in this project these structural members are integral: 16 exposed, glue-laminated piles stake out the enclosing walls for each of the three bedrooms and extend continuously from the ground through the roof.

Northwest Harbor in East Hampton

The spaces between these piles house “utility” functions: closet, desk, laundry, pantry, and shower compartment. In addition to these conventional utilities, three vertical voids are opened between the piles to serve the spaces around them.

Northwest Harbor in East Hampton

Without occupying any of the limited allowed coverage, these open areas add considerable value by improving the house’s interior environmental quality and diminishing its impact on the local environment. The benefit is threefold: each opening draws light though the interior spaces to the carport below, conducts rainwater from the roof deck to the ground via integral downspouts carved into the piles, and ventilates by siphoning air through the middle of the structure.

Northwest Harbor in East Hampton

At the roof the projecting piles divide the space between a deck directly coinciding with the living areas below and a modular planting system installed above each bedroom to reduce runoff.

Northwest Harbor in East Hampton Northwest Harbor in East Hampton

The projecting piles also serve as supports for photovoltaics that power geothermal pumps, utilizing the abundance of high ground water to heat and cool the house. At the ground level, the space below the house is utilized for parking and storage to minimize the footprint on the site.

By allowing voids to permeate through the house, the owners have multiple visual connections to the landscape from below, within and above the house, encouraging a sense of place.

Northwest Harbor in East Hampton

Northwest Harbor in NY – Building Information

Lot Size: .51 acres
Building Size: 1,895 sqft
Location: East Hampton, NY, USA

Northwest Harbor in East Hampton Northwest Harbor in East Hampton

Northwest Harbor in East Hampton images / information from Bates Masi + Architects


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