Story by David Renwick
Photography by Edward Caruso
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After their lives were devastated by a hurricane, this retired couple sought to rebuild. Berg Design certainly faced a difficult brief
About the project (Text supplied): Berg Design was approached by retired, empty nesters whose primary residence at Howard Beach was devastated by Hurricane Sandy. Their decision to build a new beach house on the North Folk represented a new beginning. Hurricane Sandy had taught the couple to be brave in the face of adversity and to place less value on material possessions.
With these important lessons in mind and broad instructions for a "modern, sleek beach house", a residence with interlocking interior and exterior space was designed that seamlessly connected to the landscape. At roughly 2500 square feet, the home has an astounding 4 bedrooms with en-suite bathrooms, a home office, double height living room, kitchen and dining area, including a 32 feet wide sliding glass door opening and small swimming pool.
The extremely tight building size, siting restraints from local zoning and state coastal codes were the design team’s greatest challenges but also informed the design principles for the house. The house is so close to the water that one feels as if they are on a boat. This theme is especially apparent in the upstairs bedrooms; all have private balconies which add to the “cabin” feel. The finished roof deck has been coined the “observation deck” and all rooms have sweeping views of the Connecticut sound.
The materials used on the building are all high tech and durable to stand the test of time. The exterior skin is an innovative fibre cement panel from Germany that does not need to be painted or maintained. It also prevents rot and deterioration by allowing an inch of deep air space between the panels and the building. This “rain screen” system allows the building to breathe and dry out in harsh weather conditions.
Natural cedar wood siding accents offer a material counterpoint to the pure white panels. The windows are heavy anodised aluminium frames with energy efficient double pane glazing separated by argon gas and a low e coating. The build was also built in line with FEMA flood regulations.
First published date: 07 November 2017