Bridgehampton, New York
The original site was a 4-acre, vacant piece of farmland fronting Sagg Pond in Bridgehampton, NY. Before locating the proposed house with the Architect, the Landscape Architect first studied the existing topography of the surrounding area, which revealed a natural rise in terrain adjacent to the Pond, creating a tremendous watershed through the project site. The upland half of the site was historically plowed as agricultural land, leading to centuries of contaminated runoff. In order to confront and solve this issue, the project team devised a plan that separated the proposed house into two structures, bisected by a natural bio-swale. The bio-swale would cleanse stormwater, re-nourishing the Pond and dial back years of neglect.
Year-round interest is generated by grasses with seed heads that stand up through the winter, such as Panicum and Deschampsia. Thickets of bayberry and Native trees, such as shad and black cherry, are used to create pockets of light and shade. Sedge grasses wind their way down the center of the swale visually revealing a ‘river’. In an effort to slow down runoff, soils were designed to capture and hold water, aided by low weir walls. Lawn was used sparingly and restricted to only circulation paths around the residence to minimize the use of fertilizers and irrigation. Highland Terrace re-interprets the use of a traditionally commercial mitigation measure on a residential level to impact big change in the health of our waterways.