Bridgehampton, New York
Set on a long, narrow, three-acre lot between an equestrian center and a freshwater pond, this landscape descends approximately forty feet from the road to the edge of a wetland. The LDG design team was involved from the very beginning of the project, especially in siting the house. This was important because the constraints of the site mandated a sensitive arrangement of features that included not only the house, but also a tennis court, a sports court, a big panel of lawn, and then a swimming pool and pool house, before finally stepping down to the pond.
The integration of these elements led to the creation of a multi-tiered landscape with each “terrace” carved out of the site while still being very sensitive to the ecosystem of the pond. A buffer area of native plants, such as bayberry, and native grasses was established above the pond, a precaution that not only protected it from runoff escaping downhill, but also repaired the ecological degradation resulting from previous generations of agricultural use. A narrow path winds through this vegetated buffer, giving access to a small beach.
The landscape itself had an expansive but low, horizontal aesthetic, with few tall trees. The house harmonizes with this, presenting a horizontal, earth-toned aspect that settles easily into its surroundings. The new design arranged several native tupelo trees around the house, not only to screen views of neighbors and enhance privacy, but also to echo the naturally occurring tupelos in the surrounding wild vegetation. The rest of the planting was also principally native shrubs and grasses. The goal was to draw on the local wetland flora by the pond and pull it up through the site, allowing the landscape to integrate into its surroundings while softening the transition to the pond.
The driveway approaching the house from the road winds through a meadow-clad slope, creating an opportunity for sinking the tennis court and reducing its visibility. Behind the house and one step down in level is the extensive sports lawn. A step down from that is the wooden pool house pavilion and swimming pool. These are set in the best spot for viewing the pond and provide a peaceful getaway from the house, a place where residents can retreat for privacy and relaxation. The pool, with its vanishing edge, mirrors the sky and echoes the pond in the distance, helping to unite foreground and background.