CUTCHOGUE, NEW YORK
The road ends in a shady cul-de-sac near a steep bluff that drops down to the Long Island Sound. The 3,300-square-foot house is perched 55 feet above sea level and fits precisely within the prescribed building envelope with nothing to spare. It’s basically a cube on a cliff, but in this case, the cube is more of a parallelogram with the sides slightly skewed to follow setback lines from neighboring properties. The lawn rolls gently to the crest of the bluff and then cascades precipitously to the beach below. The architects’ original plan called for a hole through the center of a box with living and dining on one side and bedrooms on the other, a bold idea that morphed into a more practical solution: a glassed-in breezeway separating private and public functions. By employing a tripartite combination of materials, textures and interpenetrating volumes, Barnes Coy managed to create a design that appears to be more complex than its actual size and budget would indicate. The house is broken into three unequal volumes. The largest volume, to the west, contains the living room, dining and master bedroom. The volume to the east contains garage, offices and guest rooms, and is clad in horizontal cedar siding, while the central entryway is glassed in on both north and south sides to become a lightwell that illuminates every part of the interior.
“The house is broken into three unequal volumes.“