Six Square House
Bridgehampton, United States
Taconic Builders, Silman, Coen+Partners, Matter Made, Chapter & Verse NYC
The design for the Six Square House originates from a continuous planimetric tessellation of squares, equilateral triangles, and isosceles triangles. The pattern creates a tight cluster with 3 axes of rotational symmetry. While this two-dimensional composition follows a strict internal organization, the house reveals a complex, nuanced spatial proposition and an unexpectedly sensitive connection to the adjacent landscape. This is the beginning of an intriguing tension between the indifference of the pattern’s abstract “footprint” and the physical idiosyncrasies of typology, siting, program and structure.
The 2D plan diagram suggests extrusion to define a set of volumes, yet the resolution of this extrusion undermines the legibility of its own origin by creating a spatially-charged figure resulting not only from modifications to the gabled typology, but from the way seemingly-discrete spaces tie together at points of intersection and continuities along the roof line. This unexpected translation establishes a series of oscillating readings that fuel the spatial ambiguity prevalent in the project. The most legible of these oscillations is the appearance of discrete volumes on the exterior contrasted against the continuously flowing interior. This tension manifests through a highly-specific choreography of geometric alignments, offsets, arcs, and projections.
The Six Square House sits on a rural 2-acre property containing an 1850s historic farmhouse and several magnificent old-growth trees, including an enormous purple beech and gnarled oak. The siting of the house allows for exterior spaces and several distinct gardens to flow through the site and connect various structures. including a new pool house at the northwest corner of the property and a modest gabled addition to the existing farmhouse at the northeast. Centrally locating the Six Square House and pushing it to the southern edge of the lot opens dramatic view corridors across the site and creates varied exterior environments around the six gabled volumes: a wild meadow surrounding the entry; a grassy lawn adjacent to the open-air gable patio; a sunny pool terrace; and a private fern garden accessory to the primary suite, enveloped in the shade of the purple beech tree.
The design adopts the vernacular typology of gabled barns prevalent throughout the rural landscape of the Hamptons, which offers straightforward construction amenable to our client’s budget and schedule. Through a series of thoughtful geometric transformations and efficient structural continuity, a radical spatial proposition emerges, positioning the Six Square House within the milieu of contemporary clustering vocabulary. Yet, unlike many incarnations of this language that prioritize both looseness and the particle, the Six Square House is legible both as discrete volumes and as unified figure.
The six squares of the home were carefully cropped from the underlying planimetric tessellation to allow maximum connection to the site. The gabled ends of each volume and deliberately-positioned apertures act as a series of lenses for looking out. Within the plan, rooms are organized sequentially to rationalize circulation, provide appropriate access to the exterior gardens (both visual and physical), create shared spaces towards the front (north and east) and tuck away the private spaces towards the back (south and west).
Within the larger context of the property, the Six Square House is a year-round residence serving as the hub for an active schedule of friends-and-family gatherings, gravitating towards the pool and lawns in the warmer months and intimate holidays in the traditional farmhouse in the fall and winter. It was imperative that any addition to the property be able to navigate seamlessly across these varied uses while providing much-needed expansion to the accommodations on site. While the Six Square House serves as an excellent gathering spot in its own right, its most essential role is facilitating the connection of disparate structures and areas across the site (both old and new) into a thoughtful, dynamic experience.