A Postmodern Take on a Shingle Style Home: Montauk, NY

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17 Beech St, Montauk, NY is one of renowned architect Robert A.M. Stern’s first coastal homes, and is an important step in the development of the architectural styles of the Hamptons. Certain architecture aficionados may consider this early project a “flop”, but this postmodern coastal home blends striking visual architecture and undeniable beachfront charm.

Progressive-Architecture-skStern designed the structure in 1968 as a vacation home for a Mr. and Mrs. Samuel U. Wiseman and their two children,  The inspiration for the facade was drawn from an architectural “cardboard aesthetic”, with emphasized the two-dimensionality of flat vertical planes and “punched out” negative space. The home is situated on one of the highest hills on Long Island, and is visible from the highway- thus it was a priority to create a striking image to be seen from far away. The facade is of a larger scale than the functional vacation home behind it (a device drawn from the vernacular of old western frontier towns- the facades of the buildings create a larger visual scale of the town, while the actual buildings behind are designed to a scale more befitting their function). Stern also drew inspiration from the “shingle style” architecture so popular in waterfront communities of the northeast.

The original floorplan by Robert A.M. Stern

In the large entertaining area, there is a two-story fireplace and a sunken “conversation pit”. A greenhouse-like solarium provides more sunny social space. The professionally outfitted gourmet kitchen and adjoining bar area are perfect for creating sumptuous meals to serve in the grand dining area.

In total, the home has 5 outdoor spaces: 4 terraces and a large rooftop deck. The topmost deck is artfully nestled among the arcs and vertical planes that define the outward appearance of the house. Of course, no beachfront home would be complete without a perfectly private outdoor shower.

Also on the 1.3 acre property is a heated “artist’s studio”, which can be re-purposed as an office, exercise retreat, or anything else one might dream up.

17Beech-viewIn 2004 the 3,000+ square foot home was renovated and updated by architect Frank Hollenbeck and Peter Price. It first emerged onto the market in 2008 for $3.5 million, and has since been on-and-off, undergoing several price cuts to its current asking price of $1.995 million. With the combination of light-filled luxurious spaces, pristine views of the ocean, private beach access, and architectural significance, this home is truly a steal.

For more information on 17 Beech St., Montauk NY, take a gander at the listing with Sotheby’s International Realty.

Photographs courtesy of Sotheby’s International Realty and Progressive Architecture via Curbed

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