The recently built residential project, Georgia Cove is a small house in East Hampton, United States, for a couple living on a cove that overlooks the ocean. The couple initially requested for a cozy and private house that the two of them can enjoy. However, with their love of the entertaining, the house had to accomodate for their family and friends. To instill a sense of comfort and peace, it was very important for Bates Masi + Architects that the design of Georgica Cove include an architecture that would blend with the pastoral setting and surrounding vernacular building traditions; predominantly shingle style homes and barns that were built over time. The historic precedent studies conducted for this project revealed that referencing New England connected farms provided an innovative way to achieve this.
The connected farms had aggregated over time, creating an interconnection between multiple buildings, each with their distinct uses. The architectural style of the house was applied to the following buildings, in order to create unity in its assembly. However, the partitions within provided the necessary separations between each use: house to kitchen, kitchen to shop, and shop to barn, for example. One volume was either offset or rotated from the next to allow better access of light and air, as well as privacy between each function. Using this example, the program of the house was divided into specific spaces: bedroom and office, dining kitchen and family room, formal area and dining and finally, guest rooms. These spaces are all arranged around a central courtyard space that create a visual and physical connection between them, which can also be broken down by large sliding glass doors.
The design of Georgica Cove readapts the historic typology of the connected farm to present an architecture that is suited to the needs of its site and inhabitants
Each of the structure has an independent mechanical system that allows it to shut down when it’s unoccupied. Furthermore, this allows the liveability of house to expand and contract, depending on how many inhabitants.
As it is often the case with connected farms, limited palettes of materials and details are often used, resulting in efficient spaces that actively respond to the local climate. The cedar shingles that are quite common to these local buildings, are scaled up to the size of boards, in order to cover the roof and sidewalls.
Cedar screens function as privacy barriers and light filters. The limestone plinth which is filled with sand, elevates the Georgica Cove above the floodplain, while also creating drywells to collect stormwater runoff.