New York-based Bates Masi's newest project, the Northwest Harbor Residence, is a sophisticated example of how the devastating effects of Superstorm Sandy are still influencing the local area's architecture. 6sqft recently spotlighted the East Hampton home's thoughtful design with a focus on how the architects used 16 wooden pilings to lift the contemporary structure above the area's precarious floodplain.
The Northwest Harbor Residence proves that beachfront homes can be aesthetically pleasing while still taking flooding and resiliency into account. Working within FEMA guidelines, the architects’ latest project is a beautiful single-story home built to withstand severe coastal flooding.
According to the architects, the project’s unstable beachfront location was the driving force behind the design and construction process. “Straddling freshwater wetlands and a tidal estuary just six feet above sea level, this house’s site demands extraordinary sensitivity to environmental concerns,” they explained.
Accordingly, the 1,900-square-foot home was built to stand eight feet above sea level using 16 wide pilings to establish the home’s artificial ground plane. The sixteen wooden stilts extend from the ground up through the roof, anchoring the home’s mass as well as strategically creating separations between the house’s living and utility spaces. The glue-laminated stilts are integral to the design, dividing the interior living space while also breaking up the home’s closet, laundry, pantry and shower spaces.
The use of the broad wooden pilings manages not only to open the home’s layout, but also allows an abundance of natural light to flow through the interiors to the parking area below. Interestingly, the beams were also carved with integral downspouts in order to provide a drainage system that allows rainwater to flow from the roof deck to the ground. The top of the piles that extend out of the roof are also capped with photovoltaic panels, which power geothermal pumps used to heat and cool the house.
Photos via Bates Masi + Architects