House, Shelter Island NY

3,350 sq.ft. Main House, with 2,500 sq.ft. Guesthouse / Garage

Whenever on Shelter Island, the client uses his motorboat much as one might normally drive a car: he picks up guests at the ferry, eats lunch in town, and takes architectural tours of the island with it. In fact, the idea of being on Shelter Island for him is to be constantly near the water, and the design of his house allows for this effortlessly. The back of the house which faces Dering Harbor and the client's motorboat dock actually acts as a second front of the house, with large openings and strong symmetric forms inviting guests from the yard, terraces and pool, where all of the daily activities take place. While on the property or in the house, one is always at most only a few steps away from experiencing the harbor. Even from the Motor Court, the placement of glazed windows and doors allow transparency through to the sailboats and water beyond.

To come upon these two structures under the towering Oak trees is to recognize the familiar island vernacular architecture and its minimal material palette of white shingles, deep red clay brick, and dark green shutters and evergreen plantings. To spend time in this house is to understand that the organization is about experiencing the landscape, light, views and connections between and within the structures. The idea behind the simple sometimes classical detailing is to dress up the house, while allowing it to be the casual, All-American summer house that it wants to be.

Construction: Delamere Building