For many years, a married couple and a friend shared a summer cottage rental on Shelter Island. When they each began the process of looking for property to build a new, year-round vacation home, they decided to maintain the house-sharing relationship in order to maximize resources. A key part of the project brief was the desire to reference the vernacular farm and cottage architecture prevalent on the east end of Long Island. Another component was the need to support separate living spaces for two families with a shared kitchen and common living area, but maintain a floorpan that could support a single-family scenario if they ever decided to sell the property. Each client also wanted a second-floor master bedroom to maximize views onto the bay behind the house; in each master bedroom, there was the desire to position the bed under the ridge looking out the gable end onto the water. To round out the floor plan, we added extra bedrooms and bathrooms for guests, and a private living room and covered porch for each family.
The result is a home with four gabled boxes connected by glass hallways. The two double-story bookend boxes are the private living spaces for each client and the two center boxes house the shared common spaces with one box for the kitchen and dining area and the other for the shared living room.
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Location: Shelter Island, NY
Architect: Office CY
General Contractor: Fokine Construction,
Chris Fokine with Esra Ozcan
Engineering: John Condon, PE
Pool: Binder Pools
Landscaping: Liberty Landscaping
Photography: Pippa Drummond
Publication: Dwell, May-June 2020