The beach house is located in a shoreline subdivision four hundred feet from the ocean, where crowded houses vie for a glimpse of the sea while ignoring the natural landscape all around them. The community is located at the eastern end of Long Island and was originally part of a fragile secondary dune covered in bayberry, beach plum, pine and beach grass. Today, neighboring properties all but disregard these natural assets by planting lawns and “exotics”.
Dirtworks’ approach recognized these assets and their ecological value, planting native materials that establish a dense root system and natural wind barrier to help prevent dune erosion. Dirtworks maximized the recharging of ground water by minimizing impermeable surfaces, replacing existing brick and concrete patios with cedar pallets resting on sleepers set directly into the sand. The tight-grained cedar weathers naturally without treatment, eliminating chemicals leaching into the sand. These pallets “hug” the house and extend like fingers onto the dune. By planting between them, each extension becomes an oasis –at once different from and completely integrated into this dune landscape. Native plants thrive with a minimum of care. Used strategically, they help frame views to open spaces and screen the garden from neighbors.
2007 ASLA New York Chapter Merit Award in Residential Design
2008 ASLA Honor Award in Residential Design
2010 James Rose Center Award for Residential Design
2010 Finalist, Best Private Plots 10 – Die Besten Garten
Location: Amagansett, New York
Architects: Rogers Marvel Architects