A Sculptural Staircase Anchors This A-Frame Getaway on Fire Island

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By Anna Squier
Bromley Caldari transforms an outdated beach home into a modern escape with staggering bay views.

Located on Fire Island, New York, the A-Frame ReThink residence enjoyed a bayside location with great potential for astounding waterfront sunsets. However, the existing layout of the home blocked scenic views, and interior adjustments needed to be made to draw the outside in. New York–based architecture firm Bromley Caldari guided the homeowners through a complete renovation that transformed the cramped space into a striking home filled unbeatable views and open living spaces. 

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A full-height wall of glazing connects the poolside elements to the interior living spaces.

A full-height wall of glazing connects the poolside elements to the interior living spaces.

A wood promenade connects the beachside retreat directly to the bay.

A wood promenade connects the beachside retreat directly to the bay.

The existing six-foot diameter spiral staircase was removed and replaced with a new, modern intervention which broke way through the iconic, A-frame building. A sculptural staircase now meanders it way through the volumetric form, providing an open space filled with daylight and views. 

To achieve this, the architects used their creative instincts and construction expertise to fit a large, spiraling form within a small space, taking advantage of a local law which permits bay windows to project a small distance out from the building envelope. The architects used this extra space to tuck the stairs into the low roof eaves, installing large bay windows, similar in aesthetic to skylights, at different heights on each side of the house. A catwalk-like balcony connects both sides. The staircase meanders up three floors with framed views of the bay at each turn. 

The staircase is a sculptural solution composed of wood treads, steel supports, and a steel guardrail that winds its way upward.

The staircase is a sculptural solution composed of wood treads, steel supports, and a steel guardrail that winds its way upward.

The main level of the home contains a double-height living space with an expansive window wall that connects the living and dining spaces to the outdoors. The open-concept kitchen and house mechanics are located along the back of the home. Large glass sliding doors frame the master suite on the second level. For privacy, the sliding glass doors turn opaque with the flip of a switch. 

The open kitchen gently tucks under the upper floors and the wood and metal stair that delicately weaves its way upward. The large bay windows draw daylight in from both sides.

The open kitchen gently tucks under the upper floors and the wood and metal stair that delicately weaves its way upward. The large bay windows draw daylight in from both sides.

Millwork is intricately detailed in the kitchen, blending function with beauty.  Windows provide views from every direction while cooking or entertaining.

Millwork is intricately detailed in the kitchen, blending function with beauty. Windows provide views from every direction while cooking or entertaining.

A floating wood vanity with a glass pedestal sink is a sleek solution in the main floor bath.  A wood pocket door conceals the water closet.

A floating wood vanity with a glass pedestal sink is a sleek solution in the main floor bath. A wood pocket door conceals the water closet.

A framed view is provided atop each turn of the staircase.

A framed view is provided atop each turn of the staircase.

The master suite provides a dreamy place to relax with bay views.

The master suite provides a dreamy place to relax with bay views.

In the master bath, views do not diminish.  A glass-enclosed shower and double vanity look onto the surrounding land.  A post-mounted mirror provides vanity space while not blocking the views.

In the master bath, views do not diminish. A glass-enclosed shower and double vanity look onto the surrounding land. A post-mounted mirror provides vanity space while not blocking the views.

An additional bedroom and small living area, which is also a third bedroom, are located on the upper level just below the peak of the A-frame roof. A shared bathroom connects the two spaces.

A full bath, framed by a glass shower enclosure and glass powder room enclosure, connects the two rooms on the third floor.  The openness between the spaces draws the bay views inward.

A full bath, framed by a glass shower enclosure and glass powder room enclosure, connects the two rooms on the third floor. The openness between the spaces draws the bay views inward.

The A-Frame ReThink is a stunning solution of modern interventions in an iconic architectural form.

A Sculptural Staircase Anchors This A-Frame Getaway on Fire Island - Photo 11 of 13 -
A Sculptural Staircase Anchors This A-Frame Getaway on Fire Island - Photo 12 of 13 -
A Sculptural Staircase Anchors This A-Frame Getaway on Fire Island - Photo 13 of 13 -

Project Credits:

Architect of Record: Bromley Caldari

Builder / General Contractor: Walter Boss

Where to Stay on Fire Island