Old Orchard began its life as a modern spec house in East Hampton, N.Y., with a somewhat quirky two-level plan and a relatively nondescript modern architecture. Its owners occupied the structure for a year before commencing with the design process for remodeling and expanding it to meet their family’s specific needs and desires. Bridgehampton, N.Y.–based Blaze Makoid Architecture introduced four discrete interventions—a central addition through the main portion of the 10,000-square-foot house plus three small new structures totaling about 1,500 square feet—that dramatically transform the look and feel of the original while maintaining a fresh and clean modern expression.
The existing single-story-tall aluminum and glass structure has a full basement that opens to the exterior at either end of the house, with two lower level bedrooms and a sunken court at the east end and a ramp down to a two-car garage at the west. The additions are similar in scale and proportion to the original house, although rendered in afromosia wood and glass that provides a warmer counterpoint to the existing cool modern aesthetic.
A wood-clad “tube” inserted through the center of the house provides a distinctive and inviting entry that establishes a central axis that leads to a new pool house at the rear of the 1.9-acre site. Raised several steps above the first floor, the designers introduced a series of spaces that blur the distinction between inside and out with an interior entry hall and exterior outdoor patio that can function as a covered outdoor dining area. A large skylight at the center brings abundant natural light into the home, and pairing the central tube with the pool house clarifies the geometric organization of the backyard while deftly incorporating the original swimming pool into the overall composition of the house and landscape.
A new single-story-tall office structure at the west end of the house floats above the lower-level garage entry, providing camouflage for the unsightly existing ramp to the basement. A new two-story master bedroom pavilion at the east end sits within the original lower court, attached to the main level of the house via a bridge and to the basement through a landscaped courtyard. Its upper level is rendered in wood and glass sitting on a stucco-clad plinth. The lower level provides a substantial dressing room for the new master suite.
While the overall palette of the home remains white, as before, the architects introduced wood accents like a tall millwork piece dividing the kitchen and dining rooms to integrate warmer tones throughout. Additional wood accent walls create features in both new and old, interior and exterior spaces, making it difficult to discern the new and old portions of the design.
A high-efficiency geothermal system provides heating and cooling, with a 25 kW rooftop solar array generating electricity. Indigenous plants are utilized in the upgraded landscaping of the property.
Old Orchard demonstrates how a thoughtful series of light-handed additions and remodeling can transform a bland and rather uninspiring design into something truly remarkable.