Category: Residential
Location: Bridgehampton, NY
Size: 7500 sq. ft.
Masonry Used: Alabama Limestone is for the exterior and interior floors, exterior terraces, and bathroom slabs.
Submitted by: Barnes Coy Architects

Project Description

The Atlantic Ocean is one of the most powerful forces of nature on Earth. On the Eastern End of Long Island, New York where the width of the island averages only five miles, it is a constant presence. For an Ocean Front house it is a force to be reckoned with, one that provides a frame of reference and a departure point for the architecture.

Stone jetties, revetments, bulkheads and seawalls have been used since people began building structures to resist the sea. Sand will be washed away, wood will rot and weaken, but stone will last for centuries against the onslaught of waves and tides. The use of stone as a plinth, or an architectural revetment if you will, was the structural theme around while all the other architectural elements in the Surfside Residence coalesced. The house is situated about 150 feet from the Atlantic, protected by only a low lying sand dune. The stone plinth on which the house rests varies in height above grade by an average of four feet. On the North side the stone base becomes a low-rise cubic structure housing the garage and mechanical equipment. Alabama Limestone from Russellville, Alabama is the stone used throughout the exterior and interior walls, interior floors, exterior terraces, and bathroom slabs. The sense of solidity and protection offered by this type of stone is balanced by its warmth and character, which was very important to the client.

The mason, Robert Kessler, was the most important contractor on the project. More than a mason, Kessler is an artisan of stone and as such he collaborated with us as architects on the design of how the stone should be laid up. Early on, we agreed that the stone would be rock-faced to express its raw strength. We decided to use a pattern of long horizontal stones with alternation heights of 2” and 7”. Another important design decision was to bring the exterior stone walls inside the house, suggesting that the glass curtain wall is a membrane intersecting the stone core to enclose the interior space.

The maintenance-free durability of the stone makes it the oldest “green” material on Earth. When the initial cost of the stone is balanced against the hundreds of years of service it provides, it is also shown to be one of the most cost-effective materials in the project. Thus we see stone not only as a practical, problem solving material, but also one of that embodies three of the most important virtues of good architecture: beauty, strength, and timelessness.

Project Participants

Architect / Designer's Name: Christopher, Robert Coy, Barnes
Company: Barnes Coy Architects

Structural Engineer' s Name: Michael Simon
Company: J.R. Holxmacher, P.E., LLC
Phone: (631) 234-2220

General Contractor's Name: Joseph Kelley
Company: Joseph G. Kelley Construction Management

Masonry Contractor's Name: Robert Kessler
Company: Robert Kessler Inc.
Phone: (631) 924-2241

Masonry Supplier's Name: Robert Kessler
Company: Robert Kessler Inc.
Phone: (631) 924-2241