This weekend home, built on the south shore of Long Island, is envisioned as a social platform for the owner, his family and many friends and guests who come to visit and enjoy themselves outside of New York City.

Name: Bellport House
Location:  Bellport, Long Island, NY, USA
Program: single family house – new construction
Architect: Toshihiro Oki architect
Design team: Toshihiro Oki, Jared Diganci, Jen Wood, Carolina Ihle
Structural and mechanical engineer: Condon Engineering, P.C.
Brick façade: Petersen Tegl
Photographs: Dean Kaufman
House Area: 4,800 sf / 446 sm
Completion: 2017

Bellport house By Toshihiro Oki Architects - Sheet3
Dean Kaufman

The Entry, Living, Dining and Kitchen are the central core where the social activity mixes.  Large sliding glass doors open these areas out to the exterior, allowing people to flow easily between inside and outside.  The pool, waterfront and various landscapes and courtyards around the house provide multiple settings for various activities.  People can meander as the daylight shifts throughout and around the house over the course of the day, feeling the distinct presence and syncopation of morning, afternoon, sunset and evening.

There are five bedrooms each with their own bathroom, so guests can retreat and have their privacy when desired.  The second floor bedroom also has a roof deck and views that provide a different perspective of the property and house from above.  Expansive glass from floor to ceiling with glass doors provides uninterrupted views and access to outside from all the bedrooms.  And each bedroom has its own unique view and experience of the landscape around the house.

Bellport house By Toshihiro Oki Architects - Sheet9
©Dean Kaufman

The exterior walls are built with clay bricks that are robust against the salty ocean air and the freeze/thaw cycles of the cold damp Long Island winters.  It also provides a thermal mass for more efficient heating and cooling.  The bricks are stacked in a random pattern to break its rigidity and give a more fluid feel to its clay materiality. The floors are open vein-cut travertine slabs with radiant heating for thermal comfort.  Even with all the glass, the radiant floors provide even and efficient heating throughout the Fall and Winter.  The open veins of the travertine give a refined roughness that reminds you of the geological process that creates natural stone within the earth.

Glass is located at walls and skylights to give not just views but also even natural daylighting for active spaces.  The psychological benefits of daylight help imbue character into each room, whether a bedroom, bathroom, corridor, living space or courtyard. Exterior overhead trellises and vegetation growing up cable walls provide stippled sunlight for a soft sheltering effect.  These gradients of nuanced daylight across the house spread the spectrum broadly between direct sunlight and shadow.

Bellport house By Toshihiro Oki Architects - Sheet11
©Dean Kaufman

Artwork is also a medium that the owner deals with as a profession.  Therefore many works are displayed throughout the house in carefully selected areas of gradated daylight. The passing daylight changes the rendering of the artworks from morning to night, like a changing storyboard. Whether you study or just lightly glance at the artwork, you feel yourself communicating with them with each passing.

The house faces South and overlooks the water.  As people pass by in boats, or birds fly by and the tide changes, the activity of the waterway is on full display from the house. Conversely as you walk to the water front and look back at the house, you see the full activity inside and around the house in full display.  When on the water with a boat, the house acts as a landmark as it punctuates the tree line with a low slung orthogonal volume of brick and glass.  When evening comes, the reflections on the glass give way to transparency into the house that acts like a lantern. A dialog between waterfront and house seems to be constant motion.

Bellport house By Toshihiro Oki Architects - Sheet12
©Dean Kaufman

Around the house is a property of over 2 acres that ranges from manicured grass, vegetable gardens, wild landscape, tall old growth trees and varied species of forest under growth.  The house is punctuated with glass sliding door breezeways that act as a connector from one landscape to the next in only a few steps, as if passing from one scene to the next in a film.   Everyone is free to make their own story as they pass back and forth to their own rhythm. Or they can sit still and just watch the landscape and activity unfold before them.

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