Montauk, New York
An intrinsic connection and respect for nature defines the East Lake Residence. The property was sited to fully capture and embrace the calming lakeside views, summer sunsets and cool breezes, while respecting and celebrating the tricky hillside drainage patterns present. An existing old bur oak was carefully protected during construction. The large tree anchors the main house while providing a majestic space for gathering, bird watching, and viewing sunsets over The Tidal Lake. A native plant palette knits the two conjoined lots together into a lush family compound; containing a main house and guest house with attached garage.
Native Shadblow trees planted in a natural grove provide dappled shade overhead, while allowing brief glimpses of the lakeside vista beyond. These trees visually link the properties together, while softening views between the structures.
Native shrubs, such as Northern Bayberry, Inkberry, Arrowwood Viburnum and large drifts of Switchgrass, Pennsylvania Sedge and Hay-scented Fern, were utilized to expand the surrounding native ecology onto the site. Furthermore, the native plant pallet requires minimal maintenance and human intervention.
Honoring the hillside drainage requirements, a dry stream bed dotted with grasses, sedges, and iris meanders down the middle of the property, creating a functional solution to runoff, while filtering and slowing contaminants well before entering the lake. A local stone slab was reclaimed and placed as a bridge over the stream bed to functionally link the main house and pool area together. The bridge allows the family and visitors to engage the stream bed, while also creating separation between the swimming pool and main house. The swimming pool was thoughtfully sited and detailed to visually link the sloping site with the lake.
A palate of natural materials was chosen to compliment the landscape and reinforce the sense of place. Wide, rough-sawn cedar planks were chosen for the exterior cladding, and were carried out into the landscape on both the perimeter fencing and garden gates. These were purposefully left untreated to let the sun bleach them out to the desirable silvery hue of driftwood. Solid bronze hardware was selected throughout to stand up to the harsh marine environment and to become more beautiful with passing time and use.
An intrinsic connection and respect for nature defines this property. With its native planting list providing shades of green throughout the year, and use of raw natural materials, it truly makes for a serene, low maintenance landscape.