Nestled behind the dunes

Sustainable beach house with moveable wooden screens

by Megan 29 November 2012
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    Nestled behind the dunes in Amagansett, New York, USA, this 3000 sq ft residence is designed to take advantage of the spectacular site while being sensitive to the natural landscape surrounding it. Conceived as two offset stacked boxes, the first floor steps away from the landscape creating a private outdoor sitting area defined by the cantilevered volume above the dunes. Three guest bedrooms with associated baths, a large media room and building services make up the lower level.

    The bedrooms, while modest in size, all have outdoor access leading directly to the dune path and the beach. An exterior staircase curtained by a wooden screen leads to both the second floor and the roof deck. The main living space is located on the second floor to capture the ocean view. The space contains cooking, eating, and living functions all in one room. 11 ft by 11 ft stackable sliding doors open the space up completely to the deck that is created by the volume below. The fireplace captures two of these sliding panels, turning the room into one large outdoor porch. The master bedroom and master bath are found on the roadside of the second storey, adequately screened by the wooden slats and vegetation.

    Due to height restrictions, the entire roof could not be turned into a roof deck so by lowering the ceiling over the master bedroom, master bath and entry, a portion of the roof was lowered enough to create space for a spa and outdoor shower overlooking the ocean.

    Exterior mounted moveable wooden screens were designed to cut out the southern sun to ensure sustainability. A geothermal system is used for cooling and heating, and photovoltaic panels are employed on the roof to offset the electrical load. The remainder of the upper roof is vegetated to further reduce the heat load and to give back to the environment. The exterior skin is a combination of zinc panels and red cedar siding. 

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