Many empty nesters sell large family homes and move closer to town, but this couple went the opposite direction.
Author: Photographa by Michael Moran/Otto
Everyone dreams about having a weekend house on the beach. What they don’t dream about is sandblasting bedrock to make way for a foundation or selecting materials that stand up to a constant assault of wind and moisture, or worrying about how to make it attractive enough that your teenage daughters will deign to join you on the weekends. Architect Julie Schaffer thought about all that and then some when she decided to break ground on a 1.4-acre beachfront property in Guilford. But mostly she thought about those girls.
Sometimes, creating a suitably modern home requires turning back the clock. That’s what O’Neill Rose Architects did when they renovated a landmarked Romanesque Revival townhouse for a couple with three school-aged daughters. Like many city brownstones, the formerly grand five-story structure had suffered the indignities of being chopped up by developers into floor-through apartments over the years. “There were something like 20 different renovations over the course of the building’s life. We wanted to recapture its elegance, but create a totally contemporary home.”
The Shelter Island home of architects Michael Morris and Yoshiko Sato is all about geometry—and that’s the plane truth