Juniper House Fire Island / Paul Coughlin Annie Scheel Architects
Text description provided by the architects. This Fire Island summer house is located in the Seaview community of Fire Island. Our concept for the architecture was to create a corner building to frame outside space, as an extension of the inside. The “L” shape of the house creates a private enclave of exterior space to celebrate the cherished indoor-outdoor experience of Fire Island. A green buffer surrounds the other 2 edges of the site. Planning of the square site required a precise arrangement of the house, pool, and sanitary system coverage. Primarily, the house and pool are positioned on the site to take advantage of the sun, wind, and views of both ocean and bay. This configuration also allows the house to wrap the pool and deck as a privacy barrier from the adjacent public walk.
Functionally, the first floor is split at the entry into a south-facing living dining and kitchen zone, and a west-facing guest wing. Bedrooms and a den are located on the second floor. A two-and-a-half-story vestibule and open stair draw the eye up to skylights framing the blue sky. A modest roof deck allows for unobstructed ocean and sunset views. The house sits high above the sand allowing for a dramatic ramp to the main entry, a traditional fire island element. Carbonized wood siding protects against harsh fire island weather and achieves a successful modern wood house aesthetic, aligned with the traditional Fire Island cladding. The black siding canvas allows cuts, voids, and punches to be composed with windows, recesses, and overhangs hinting at the program inside.