Steven Harris Architects and Rees Roberts + Partners: 2016 Best of Year Winner for Beach House
Simplicity itself. Practically monastic. This house by Interior Design Hall of Fame members Steven Harris and Lucien Rees Roberts is a 4,500-square-foot board-formed concrete box set on top of two piers. One pier is faceted, tapering to its smallest possible footprint. The other, partially embedded in the natural fall of a sand dune, is large enough to contain the garage. To ascend from the ground-level breezeway, the owners walk up a delicate staircase suspended on steel cables.
Inside, the Atlantic Ocean and a bay are omnipresent, courtesy of expansive hurricane-proof glass with mirror-polished stainless-steel frames that dissolve into the views. Two 24-foot-wide motorized windows—tethered to 6,000-pound counterweights—can drop into floor cavities bracketing the living and dining areas, opening them to the prevailing breeze. Teak was used for the platforms, steps, and paths that lead both to the beach and to the pool with a separate, smaller pavilion standing alongside. The pool house’s sitting area, screened by teak slats, is furnished with a built-in concrete daybed and Gae Aulenti’s famous cocktail table on wheels.
Project Teams: Steven Harris Architects: Eliot Lee; Jacqui Hawkins. Rees Roberts + Partners: Towfiq Awwal.