Office of Architecture elevates zinc-clad Hamptons home above a floodplain
Watermill House by Office of Architecture

Office of Architecture elevates zinc-clad Hamptons home above a floodplain

New York studio Office of Architecture has created a holiday home in a seaside village in the Hamptons that is raised above the property, resulting in spaces located "under, over and between the building and the landscape".

The Watermill House is located in Water Mill, an oceanside hamlet in the Town of Southampton on Long Island.

Watermill House by Office of Architecture

The summer residence sits within a floodplain, on a property that is approximately 50 per cent unbuildable due to wetlands.

These conditions were initially concerning to the architects, who feared they wouldn't be able to deliver the square footage and living spaces that define a "Hamptons home".

Watermill House by Office of Architecture

After further study, the team determined the they could create a dwelling that capitalised on the challenging site conditions.

"Rather than fight the constraints imposed by the land, we saw this as an opportunity to capture a variety of spaces that could exist under, over and between the building and the landscape," said Office of Architecture, a Brooklyn-based studio.

Watermill House by Office of Architecture

The team created three adjoining boxes that surround a central courtyard and infinity pool. One volume houses public functions, while the others serve as family and guest wings.

The home is largely clad in dark zinc panels, with lower areas wrapped in strips of wood.

Watermill House by Office of Architecture

The volumes are lifted off the ground in varying degrees, meaning that "all heated zones and critical infrastructure" are raised above the floodplain.

The family wing – which contains bedrooms – is raised high above the property and is supported by two large columns. The volume appears to thrust forward and gesture toward the sea.

Watermill House by Office of Architecture

Elevating the house resulted in the formation of several "outdoor rooms", such as a carport, an exterior kitchen, a pool pavilion and a terrarium.

"These volumes straddle the floodplain and create a variety of interstitial spaces between the building and landscape," the studio said.

Watermill House by Office of Architecture

The interior of the dwelling features airy rooms, white walls and open plans. Ample glazing brings in natural light and provides sweeping views of the surrounding terrain.

Neutral colours and natural materials are intended to imbue the home with a sense of calm and refinement.

Watermill House by Office of Architecture

"An elegantly restrained material palette that includes clear western red cedar, Jerusalem grey-gold limestone and black zinc ties everything together," the firm said.

The Hamptons is a popular getaway for affluent New Yorkers, many of whom own vast properties along this stretch of the Atlantic coast. Other residences in the area include an oceanfront dwelling by Aamodt Plumb Architects with a sturdy exterior shell that protects the home from coastal storms, and a cedar-clad home by Bates Masi that takes cues from a historic lifeguard station.

Photography is by Rafael Gamo.


Project credits:

Architect: Office of Architecture; Aniket Shahane, Principal
Team: Ivan Kostic, Valentin Bansac, Stephen Maher, Tristan Walker, Eddie Simpson, Joshua Eager
Contractor: Aran Construction
Structural Engineer: Blue Sky Design
MEP: Atieri Siebor Wieber
Landscape: Summerhill Landscapes
Pool: Pristine Pools
Interiors: Friedman Moore
Styling: Sophie Yanacopoulos-Gross
Design Collaborator: Asheshh Saheba

More images and plans

Plan of Watermill House by Office of Architecture
Plan of Watermill House by Office of Architecture
Sections of Watermill House by Office of Architecture
Site plan of Watermill House by Office of Architecture
Drawing of Watermill House by Office of Architecture
Watermill House by Office of Architecture
Watermill House by Office of Architecture
Watermill House by Office of Architecture
Watermill House by Office of Architecture
Watermill House by Office of Architecture
Watermill House by Office of Architecture
Watermill House by Office of Architecture
Watermill House by Office of Architecture