Two Cedar-Clad Structures Form a Unique Montauk Retreat

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By Jennifer Baum Lagdameo
Inspired by the natural setting, local architects create one weekend retreat by designing two dwellings that will beautifully weather over time.

Robert Young Architects has taken a slightly unconventional approach to the East Lake House, a project in Montauk, New York, where two adjacent lots had been sold as one—an unusual find in the area. Instead of building one oversized house on the land, the firm chose to visually break down the expansive space by constructing a main house and a guest house/garage. 

The modern design places the two structures across from one another, leaving space in the center of the property for a grassy lawn and a pool.

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The two buildings are positioned to maximize the views and capture the summer sun and breezes. 

The two buildings are positioned to maximize the views and capture the summer sun and breezes. 

The two separate gabled structures serve as the main house and a garage with guest accommodations. The exteriors of the buildings are defined by the choice of wide, unfinished cedar planks, a material that will develop a driftwood-like silvery patina over time. The roofs are composed of raw zinc, which together with the exterior bronze hardware, will develop a beautiful weathered look as they age. 

The unfinished cedar planks will develop a silvery patina over time. 

The unfinished cedar planks will develop a silvery patina over time. 

The overall rustic exterior is juxtaposed against a modern entry with a sleek profile. 

The overall rustic exterior is juxtaposed against a modern entry with a sleek profile. 

Inside, the modern interiors consist of an exposed structural steel frame which has been painted black. Set against a neutral palette of whites and bleached woods, the frame is combined with large expanses of energy-efficient solar glass. 

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The white interiors are bright and airy, integrating a sense of the surrounding nature while also providing spectacular views of Lake Montauk. 

The white interiors are bright and airy, integrating a sense of the surrounding nature while also providing spectacular views of Lake Montauk. 

The main living space is located on the ground level. Thanks to the oversized sliding glass doors, a stage is created for informal indoor/outdoor living.  

The main living space is located on the ground level. Thanks to the oversized sliding glass doors, a stage is created for informal indoor/outdoor living.  

The neutral palette of the open-plan kitchen/dining feels polished and contemporary. 

The neutral palette of the open-plan kitchen/dining feels polished and contemporary. 

The staircase of the main house. 

The staircase of the main house. 

The master bedroom features vaulted ceilings and a light-wood wall to break up the space. 

The master bedroom features vaulted ceilings and a light-wood wall to break up the space. 

The wood also helps define the bathroom and add a sense of privacy in the space, which has largely been left open. 

The wood also helps define the bathroom and add a sense of privacy in the space, which has largely been left open. 

A look at the main house and the pool.

A look at the main house and the pool.

A covered sitting area at the edge of the pool. 

A covered sitting area at the edge of the pool. 

The three guest bedrooms sit over the garage/boathouse.

The three guest bedrooms sit over the garage/boathouse.

The great room of the guesthouse is also set at the ground level, and features expanses of glass that provide stunning views and allows for easy indoor/outdoor living. 

The great room of the guesthouse is also set at the ground level, and features expanses of glass that provide stunning views and allows for easy indoor/outdoor living. 

The simple white kitchen. 

The simple white kitchen. 

The East Lake House.

The East Lake House.

The East Lake House site plan.

The East Lake House site plan.

The East Lake House floor plan.

The East Lake House floor plan.

Project Credits: 

Architect of Record: Robert Young Architects / @robertyoungarchitects
Builder/General Contractor: Men at Work Construction Corp.
Structural Engineer: Becker Engineer, PC 
Civil Engineer: D.B. Bennett PE, PC 
Landscape Design Company: LaGuardia Design Group
Lighting Design: Tirschwell & Co
Interior Design: Robert Young Architects
Sound Engineer: Audio Interiors 
Cabinetry Design: Cousins Furniture
Mechanical/Energy Engineer: ZeroEnergy Design
Landscape Contractor: James C. Grimes Land Design

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