Environmental and lifestyle benefits overcome a challenging site by design

Brookhaven, NY   |   2500 Square Feet

The dream of this urban high-rise empty nester couple: a spacious home with ever-present views of the water, a private sleeping and chilling zone for their adult children, and easy access to both shaded and sunbathed outdoor spaces for entertaining family and guests.

The discovery that the 100-year floor elevation (newly re-established by Hurricane Sandy) required that all living space be elevated at least five feet above natural grade at first ruined their vision of integrating the interior and exterior “living spaces.”

This custom Elements design, created for the client’s wooded site on the south shore of Long Island turned what seemed like a liability into a triple asset.  Lifting the house an additional 5 feet and placing it on two “pedestals” (the garage on one end and a pool storage/changing room on the other), created a 500 square foot fully shaded terrace for lounging and entertaining that can easily be converted into a screened porch. The all-weather terrace is immediately adjacent to the south-facing open-air pool terrace.  Lifting the house high enough to provide useful space beneath the first living level also reduced the house footprint and impact on the unspoiled natural environment.  It also opened up a panoramic 270-degree view of the water above the dense vegetation and a shoreline berm.  

The two living levels will enjoy uninterrupted views of the Atlantic, with the master bedroom, den, two story great room and dining room with a bedroom above occupying the volume under one sweeping white pine-lined monopitch roof. A sitting deck off the master and a large dining deck off the kitchen also enjoy water views without obstructing the view from the primary living spaces.

The master bath, dressing area and closets and secondary bedrooms on the second floor require less volume and are capped with flat parapet roofs on the front of the house (see the massing model), concealing the scale of the monopitch that becomes evident only as one ascends the open stair tower. Once inside, every space in the house (with the exception of only the master bedroom walk-in closet) enjoys a view of the water.