Study in transparency

Kanner Architects reveal design for beachfront house

Private houses are places of refuge for their owners. But for architects they are also sites of investigation, vehicles through which new ideas are explored and tested. The design of this 5,500 square-foot oceanfront house on Long Island by Santa Monica-based Kanner Architects was driven by the desire to give every room in this deep set lot spectacular views of the ocean, resulting in a see through house.

Raised on “legs” to elevate the living areas above the flood plain, the house makes use of large expanses of glass to provide the occupants unobstructed views of the ocean from every room. Privacy is achieved through sheer white PVC mesh screens or 'veils' attached to the exterior. At night the house becomes a glowing white lantern offering brief glimpses of domestic activity beyond. The one splash of color visible in the house is a wood clad elevator that acts as a 'tree trunk,' veritcally connecting all floors.

Within the two-level living area, rooms are stacked in a crisscross fashion creating interstitial spaces that serve as decks and balconies. The first level has major common areas and pool deck with a master bedroom and office located on the floor above. Expected completion date is 2012.

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