Nestled amidst the windswept trees and rolling dunes of a preserve in Amagansett, New York, this small family house references local cottages from the 1950s. Bates Masi Architects designed the building using passive house principles, facilitating natural ventilation through optimal orientation and the introduction of differently sized operable louvers and openings.
The house is located next to a preserve dominated by constant coastal winds. In order to take advantage of the winds and protect the interior from excessive sunlight, the architects oriented the face of the house toward the street, the afternoon sun, and the prevailing wind. The west and east facades feature operable windows with small adjustable openings on the windward west side and expansive openings on the leeward east side. These differences in the size of the openings facilitates natural ventilation.
The canvas louvers block the winter winds from the northwest, while allowing summer breezes from the southwest to penetrate the interior. In addition to their role in establishing natural ventilation, the louvers provide optimal levels of privacy for the family. They also help fill the interior with the scents of the surrounding aromatic garden.