North Fork Bay House
Lifted Double-Wide/Courtyard Hybrid
With direct access to Great Peconic Bay, this prefab beach house is designed to be a weekend retreat for a young family of four from Brooklyn and a seasonal residence for their Florida-based grandparents. As a multigenerational home with a rather small footprint, the house needed to be flexible and efficient to accommodate both short and long stays simultaneously.
One gains entry via an open-riser exterior stair to a courtyard deck, where adjacent trees fill the view and sunlight flows into the house. Full-height sliding glass doors facing the bay connect the open-plan communal space to a large bayside deck and the beach beyond.
Perched among the trees, the open plan communal space spills out onto exterior decks. The dining opens onto a courtyard with an oculus-like opening to the sky above, which also provides ample daylight into the living spaces. The kitchen and living room open onto a larger deck overlooking the bay where the family enjoys summertime outdoor dining. The main level includes three bedrooms with built-in beds and wardrobes for efficient use of compact spaces. The family’s two young girls share custom built-in bunk beds with integrated toy cubbies to maximize storage.
Interior materials evoke a beach vibe, and make for easy cleaning: large-format tile flooring throughout, subway tile, Caesarstone countertops, Corian backsplashes, maple cabinets, and custom Baltic birch millwork. Exterior materials—chosen for their durability—hold up to the harsh coastal climate. Kynar-coated corrugated aluminum siding withstands the corrosive salt air while providing beautiful tone and texture. Warm natural cedar used for siding, railings, the outdoor shower enclosure, and the brise-soleil—along with Ipe decking—complement the cool metal siding.
While the home is not located within any official FEMA-designated flood zone, the client was concerned about potential flooding given the proximity to the water. In response, the house is raised upon a steel frame, which also allows for views through to the bay upon arrival via the long tree-lined gravel driveway. This strategy also improves views from the main level, and creates shaded outdoor space below the house for parking, playing, and lounging. The secondary ground level spaces include a seasonal-use half-bathroom, a beach equipment storage closet, an outdoor shower with easy beach access, and a workshop for the grandfather’s woodworking projects, including his latest, a small sailboat.
Although secluded by woods from the road, farther South the property opens up to the bay and the unassuming, neighboring one-story cottages on either side. In a respectful gesture, the house is sited just north of the neighbors, to keep the raised home from feeling obtrusive on the very narrow lot. By slipping past the neighbors, the house is shielded by existing trees along both property lines to maintain privacy.