Weaving the interior and exterior of a home together is essential and so are the materials used to do it.
Blaze Makoid Architecture likes to use materials that create a flow from outside to in.
People go to the Hamptons for a state of mind, inspired by a connection to nature. That’s why connecting inside and out, not only physically but also psychologically, is of utmost importance to today’s top architects in the Hamptons. “The line between the house and the landscape is dissolving,” says James Merrell of James Merrell Architects (66 Main St., Sag Harbor, 631-725-9842).
“Window systems are getting glassier, glass sizes are getting larger, frames are getting tinier.” Some designs feature entirely retractable walls; others make the most of outdoor space with courtyards, luxurious outdoor showers, and outdoor kitchens. Alex Hirsch, an architect with Robert Young Architects (2273 Montauk Hwy., Bridgehampton, 212-687-6940), loves trellises. “We’ve become quite fond of creating trellises near clients’ pools or outdoor dining areas,” says Hirsch. “The way ivy will grow up the lattice detailing is remarkable. It makes you feel like you’re in an oasis on your own property.”
Materials also play a key function. Using natural, simple materials is one way to echo nature’s beauty inside. “We try to limit the palette of materials on our projects to the basics—wood, stone, and glass,” says Blaze Makoid of Blaze Makoid Architecture (7 Tradesman Path, Bridgehampton, 631-537-7277). “Our selection of materials could literally carry its way from the outside in—for example, using a concrete tile and bringing it from the terrace right into the living room.”
Bluff House, overlooking Block Island Sound, is one of Robert Young Architects’ favorite projects. Its multiple indoor/outdoor spaces are all connected, so a person lounging by the pool, for example, is still within eye- and earshot of those using the outdoor fireplace.
How the light enters a space is as important as how to get people outside. “When you’re in a house and you feel sunlight coming in, that’s nature coming into the house,” says Merrell. “The more easily sunlight comes in, the more it feels connected to the outside.” But Merrell emphasizes that it’s not only about physically getting people out or bringing fresh air and sunlight in. “It can be thought of less literally and more poetically,” he says, “like the folly in the English garden.
The purpose was to attract your eye out of the house without leaving the house.” He considers that connection in every single room he designs. “I think when you have the ability to focus on something in the distance, you’re more relaxed,” he says. “Even in a small room in an old Sag Harbor house, if you have well-planned views to something in the landscape beyond, the house doesn’t feel small.” Makoid feels that the connection between indoors and out is almost primal. “It gives us a sense of being protected,” he says, “but understanding our place in a bigger world.”
7 FAIRFIELD POND LANE, SAGAPONACK
Talk about bringing the outside in! This show-stopping listing in Sagaponack, represented by top Hamptons broker Susan Breitenbach, features a beautifully modern custom design by Bates Masi Architects that creates a seamless balance between indoors and outdoors with unique apertures that let light and air pass through. The floor-to-ceiling glass walls are also an ingenious way to make magnificent use of 300 feet of oceanfront. Amenities at the 10,000-square-foot property, listed at $50 million, include a rooftop deck with Jacuzzi, an oceanside pool, and a tennis court. 1936 Montauk Hwy., Bridgehampton, 631-899-0303
289 PARSONAGE LANE, SAGAPONACK
This marvel by JBialsky Premiere Design & Development is breaking all kinds of molds on the luxury real estate scene, and its sleek outdoor spaces—including a gorgeous vanishing-edge pool—are perfect for those who like to entertain. Situated on two acres, the 11,665-square-foot home is listed for $23.5 million. “It’s optionality to own the abutting reserve and neighboring land parcel makes it one of the most enticing opportunities in the Hamptons market,” says Bespoke Real Estate’s Zachary Vichinsky. 903 Montauk Hwy., Water Mill, 631-500-9030