MY NEW HOME
Updated: Apr 5, 2018
Buying a half-acre and building a house on the turnpike that divides Bridgehampton from Sag Harbor was never our plan. But I was curious enough, after a year of daily drive-bys, to inquire with my wife. Within the week, we were headed to contract on a decidedly inhospitable piece of land.
The land sat on the market for more than the obvious reasons. Despite being within steps of Estia’s Little Kitchen (one of the best restaurants in the Hamptons), its proximity to the bustling highway in a relatively downscale neighborhood also included a descending twenty-five foot gradient on the backside.
view of the house with inforegroundbarrier
But I’m an Architect. And right behind that sloping gully sat woods, a pond, and an improbable nature preserve. And these polarities, moving cars on one side and nature on the other, presented the perfect challenge and the meaningful value to design our family sanctuary.
As designers, we (at Oza Sabbeth) value the primacy of experiencing a space. We believe that the simple act of walking through a well designed home, as it responds to the passing day and perennial seasons, should be a worthy experience. This particular house was asking to become, almost by design, an experience that filters the bustle of the outside world to the calm we desire within our homes.
back of the house
The Entry Sequence, while always important, becomes crucial in this context - designed as means to ‘decant’ ones experience of the busy turnpike and the world outside to the stillness of the lake and the clam desired within the house.
the entry court
When entering from the highway, vehicles arrive at a gravel yard with a few trees. Designed for vehicles more than people, a bulwark of a concrete wall and wood fence provides enough protection to soften the edge of the outside world. Upon descending a few steps down to the entrance court, the road is visually and audibly removed from the experience. This fore court is a safe enclosure to decompress and unburden before entering the interior.
view of the deck and pond from the entry
Upon entering the house, the foyer is a further means of shedding the world outside. A large mudroom and walk-in closet allow for this quite literally. Then, the house begins opening to the outside and the pond beyond. This experience of opening occurs in various settings and is also mediated by them; in the living room it is an enclosed glass vitrine; on the deck, it is totally open or partially covered; below by the pool, it is experienced from under a large covered back porch. All aspects of the house are reaching to experience the pond and the visual calm that it offers wherever possible.