Project Description2008 RADA
Custom / 3,500 Square Feet Or Less / Grand
Fred Stelle, AIA, has boldly done what few architects dare to do—he's designed a house that plays second fiddle to its Long Island, N.Y., waterfront site. A lovely duet ensues.
The jury unanimously praised Stelle for creating experiential architecture that directs attention to the untamed splendor of its setting. Seeking to capture views to the north and crucial natural light to the south, Stelle created a 90-foot-long glass box. The building's core, where the kitchen lies, opens up, transforming it and two adjacent decks into an outdoor room.
The house “responds to codes and does so remarkably,” said the judges, by engaging the landscape at every level—from beneath the house with a protected terrace to above it with an elevated, disappearing-edge pool that slices into the sea-meets-sky horizon. And before they even reach such pleasures, guests must get out of their cars at a distance and follow a boardwalk (anchored with steel rods to withstand regular flooding) to the house. “In these waterfront sites, it's not only about trying to intervene as little as possible, but also about capturing the spirit of the place,” says Stelle, a veteran of building on Long Island. “The house really does understand indoor-outdoor spaces,” said one judge, and “engages the landscape through both time and space.”