As history has taught us, appropriateness is the backbone of good design. But appropriateness can be complex and interpreted in many ways. This five bedroom rambling house on the north shore of Long Island is appropriate to its owners’ needs, to its site and to the traditional culture of clapboard houses of the area.
Located on a flagship plot of land, the site has one access point in the middle. A sunken lawn near the entry point splits the property in half.
The owners, a renowned florist and a master builder of hi-end custom homes in the Hamptons asked their longtime friend Selim Koder to help create a house where they can live, partially work and entertain their extended family. Koder and the owners agreed to place the main house apart from the garage structure on either side of the sunken lawn.
The main house relates to its surroundings in specific ways. A formal entry and living room face the sunken lawn, while a day to day kitchen entry is accessible to the side through a covered screen porch. The porch anchors the house to the side/rear yard creating a private setting apart from the public areas. Since the owners decided to retire in this house, the master bedroom suite was placed on the ground floor, and overlooks the more secluded rear yard.
At the other end of the site, Koder attached the flower cutting shop to the wall of the garage facing the sunken lawn. Connecting the main house to the garage is a trellis structure that straddles the sunken lawn. This structure acts as a covered path and a means of access from the garage to the main house. The path axis is on center of the main entry doorway. With the flower beds alongside the trellis, roses grow and climb creating a natural screen at the edge of the sunken lawn.