Set between the verdant estates of East Hampton and the easy-going fishing village of Montauk, Amagansett occupies one of the narrowest points of the South Fork and offers a uniquely nature-focused take on the Hamptons. The Amagansett Dunes is a small development of homes set into a sandy ocean-front bluff dotted with native plantings laid out just before the great hurricane of 1938. The development grew throughout the post-war area with small vernacular and modern cottages serving families who strolled to the neighborhoods private beach for a lazy day in the sun.
The relaxed, beach-focused lifestyle and the natural dune landscaped served as the foundational elements of this project’s design. The lot is divided into three sections via two transverse retaining walls. The front portion is occupied by restored dunes and a parking pad. The middle portion is kept flat, with a small lawn surrounded by restored plantings and bound by the mirrored pool and house. The rear portion is a native hillside of scrub oak. A long wooden boardwalk pierces the first wall via an gate house with beach storage and terminates at the second wall, with an outdoor shower and the entrance to the house. The house as a wooden box, set on stilts over a concrete slab which folds into the retaining wall and flows inside and out. The upstairs bedrooms and lounge area all have private balconies which provide for sea breezes and views of the Atlantic Ocean.
The interior materials mirror the exterior. Exposed concrete floors and walls and floors are offset by warm, bleached cedar and ash. The white support structure for the balconies flows inside and folds down to form the stair and an intimate hearth in the living room. Landscape architect Erin Hanlon served as a valuable collaborator in generating the site plan and is responsible for the planting and natural resource protection plans.