The Living Well
The local community is beloved for its connection to the nearby Long Island beaches, but the town’s aesthetic seems stuck in the aftermath of conservative suburban developments like the infamous Levittown just a few minutes down the road.
The new, modern home uses rigid geometry to maximize interior space, provide ample space for solar power, and create a private roof deck. The exterior is then clad in natural cedar to create a coastal, beach house aesthetic.
In the center of the square home is a raised volume that is wrapped in windows and topped with skylights. This creates a lightwell that looks down on an open stairwell and brings natural light into the otherwise darkened core. Over time, this three-story void will be filled with an interior vertical garden.
Through the owner’s continued research on Japanese gardens and tea house architecture the term “Sukiya
Living” arose as a guiding principle.
As defined in the Journal of Japanese Gardening this is “The combination of a home, its interior spaces and a surrounding garden meant to be viewed from inside the building. At the center of this unified property is a graceful, high-quality home – not necessarily Japanese – that avoids clutter and ostentation and is visually integrated with exterior spaces. Hallmarks include ample use of natural materials, light, elegant proportions, and respect for human scale. The overall mood of a Sukiya Living Environment is one of elegance surrounded by natural beauty.”
The home's second floor is designed with private balconies for the primary bedroom and family suite - both of which look over the rear yard’s garden and pond. Shown here prior to railing installation, the rear portion of the roof deck is also occupiable.
The ground floor layout also brings the most commonly shared spaces to the rear of the home. The custom kitchen, living room, and dining area are a combination of bright white and natural materials that allow the greenery (and the family’s incoming collection of art from around the world) to provide an organic pop of color.