An Incredible Cedar-Clad House Captures Views of the Sea and Forest

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By Michele Koh Morollo
Sited on a sloping plot in Suffolk County, New York, this cantilevered house takes full advantage of its forest-meets-sea locale.

Designed, built, and furnished by New York City-based firm Leroy Street Studio, this 5,935-square-foot home was born from the client's request to create a warm and stylish modernist house that would be intimate enough for private family retreats, yet impressive and expansive enough for entertaining large groups. 

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Upon approaching the house from the forest-facing side, one sees a cedar facade and green roof, along with narrow windows that present glimpses of the ocean beyond. 

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The subterranean entrance is formed by a cut in the earth, so the house looks as if it's tucked under a hill. This entrance leads to a sequence of interior and exterior spaces that gradually open to sweeping views of the sea. 

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The water-facing side of the house is surrounded by large glass panels, which open out to a courtyard. This sheltered outdoor area features a large masonry hearth that's surrounded by a sunken lounge area. 

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Besides serving as a focal and gathering point for courtyard parties, the hearth also supports the upper volume of the house. A hidden staircase leads up to the cantilevered second level, where the sitting room and floating bedrooms are located. 

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Here, the foreground disappears from view and the sea becomes the focal point. 

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The house successfully marries abstract modernism with an intimate coziness, thanks to a combination of both grand elements—a cantilevered mass and panoramic windows—and more subtle, textured materials including charred cedar, brushed oak, blackened steel, troweled plaster, and hand-glazed tiles. 

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Meadow grasses and native woodland plants were used for the green roof. For the interiors, shades of terra-cotta, green and blue pastels, and earthy materials (wood, marble, leather, and woven fabrics) are used in a clean and precise composition to give the communal spaces and private rooms a contemporary, Scandinavian feel. 

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Taking on the roles of architect, builder, and interior designer, Leroy Street Studio managed the design process from start to finish, which allowed for a carefully planned integration of all production aspects. 

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"By engaging in a unique design-build process with our in-house construction firm and interior design team, the project cost was reduced from the original budget, while more time was spent both in the studio and on site, responding to design opportunities that developed during construction," says Leroy Street Studio’s founder Marc Turkel. 

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Project Credits: 

-Architect of Record: Marc Turkel of Leroy Street Studio

-Builder/General Contractor: Greg Heasley of Leroy Street Studio/BLDG

-Structural Engineer: Nat Oppenheimer of Robert Silman Associates

-Landscape Design: Geoff Valentino of Hollander Design Landscape Architects

-Lighting Design: Clinard Design Studio

-Interior Design: Sybille Schneider of Leroy Street Studio

-Engineering: John Condon (MEP) of Condon Engineering

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