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AIA Tri-State Design Award, 2021

see full article online here
see project page here

Small in scale, the architecture of this pool house in East Hampton, New York creates a visual, spatial, and experiential effect far beyond its diminutive size.

The design responds to a series of challenging constraints. Local building codes limit the size of pool houses to a tight footprint of 200 square feet. But the clients of this project asked for a structure that would visually anchor an expansive backyard and provide a destination for poolside activities. To provide ample outdoor living space in a form with commanding visual presence, the architect split the structure into two component parts, linked by a broad roof. By drawing it apart in this way, the design creates an amplified visual effect while remaining within size regulations.

Eschewing both historicist and contemporary style-driven approaches, the design for this project finds a balance between contextual reference and modern functional design. From either of the short ends, the elevations create the classic shape of a pitched-roof house, drawing on East Hampton’s tradition of beach cottages and cabanas, while from the pool and the house, the design is decidedly modern.

Natural materials—cedar sun louvers, bluestone terraces, a natural zinc roof—patina over time, connecting the architecture to its environment. Carefully scaled trees and foliage immediately surrounding the outdoor space enhance the sense of enclosure, blurring the distinction between architecture and landscape. A chimney made of handmade Petersen bricks from Denmark rises above, anchoring the composition of spaces with a place to gather and connect.