The American Society of Landscape Architects recently announced the winners of their 2015 Design Awards, and Edmund Hollander Landscape Architects' ecological restoration of the landscape around an elegant Long Island home nabbed a spot among the honorees. The firm was recognized for breathing new life into sand dunes around the understated and sophisticated Flying Point home in Sag Harbor, NY. The project revitalized the site's gentle mounds and natural vegetation, which had been damaged by rising ocean tides over the years.
Flying Point is a contemporary one-story structure that is comprised of the main house, a pool and a pool house. Although the home maintains a simplistic sophistication, the project was quite complex in nature due to the ecological intervention required to restore the 1.7-acre lot. In building the home on this particular location, the architects were faced with revitalizing the natural dunes on the coast that had been damaged by the elements.
Throughout the design, the architects committed to conserving the site’s natural environment as they worked to restore the heavily damaged dunes. Accordingly, careful preservation of the natural soils around the site was critical in order to provide a stable root biome for the native dune species of plants and vegetation. These native plants were carefully selected for their resilient nature required to thrive in the harsh dune environment.
The first step in the process was to complete a total dune restoration by removing the invasive exotic species of plants found on-site. The dune was then reinforced with more than 8 feet of new sand along with native dune plants such as beach grass, sea side goldenrod, beach plum and bayberry.
From the street side of the building, the home seems to gently rise out of the dunes thanks to the strategically planted Shad trees, Cedar, Bayberry, and Inkberry, which created fluid movement and height to the home’s surroundings.
In the back of the home, a serene rimless edge pool sits in the middle of a sand “terrace” designed to create the illusion of a natural shoreline. Sand replaced the need for turf and soil to create a beachscape setting, subsequently eliminating the need for chemicals that would disrupt the natural dune environment.