The Amagansett House has energy efficient goals that are reflected in the east-west orientation of the plan, the high R value insulation throughout, the cross ventilation from the clerestory windows, the deep overhanging roof and sun louvers and the client’s decision to incorporate ceiling fans instead of air-conditioning.
The bar shaped building takes advantage of its site by harnessing the summer ocean breezes with large operating windows opening to the south. Clerestory windows on both north and south assist in pulling the air through the house. The sixteen inch insulated concrete slab cools the house in the summer. In slab radiant piping heats the house in the winter. The north façade is opaque except for the entry and clerestory windows in order to shelter against northwest winter winds.
The house is raised above existing grade on a system of wood piles, concrete grade beams, and concrete piers supporting a structural slab. Organized on a modular structural bay system, the house has a circulation spine and storage zone along the north, and the bedrooms, bathrooms, and living, dining, on the south with views towards the beach. The house structure is a bolted steel frame with wood infill, plywood sheathing and horizontal tongue and groove cedar siding. The wood siding references the classic shingle siding construction common in Eastern Long Island. The inverted V shaped metal roof and sun louvers allow for natural light to penetrate deep into the interior, yet keep out direct summer sunlight and heat gain, but allow the warming winter sun in.
The fenestration and large sliding doors are made of impact resistant hurricane glazing as mandated by code. The house construction uses closed cell bio based sprayed in insulation throughout yielding an R Value of 32.5 for the roof and an R Value of 29.5 for the exterior walls, which keeps the house cool during the summer months and warm during the winter months.
With its roots in Eastern Long Island’s modernist design explorations during the 1950s and 1960s, the Amagansett House exemplifies functional simplicity and energy conservation in its resolution of client program and site conditions. The poetry of the house is in its restrained, simple form and lines, which create a sense of serenity in harmony with the site. The inverted roof creates a perception of lightness as if the house is taking off.