Kowalewski Residence / Belmont Freeman Architects

© Christopher Wesnofske

Architects: Belmont Freeman Architects
Location: Atlantic Beach, , USA
Principal in Charge: Belmont Freeman
Project Architect: Devyn Osborne
Client: Antoni and Joanna Kowalewski
Construction Manager: Anko Contractor
Structural Engineer: Ross Dalland, PE
Site Area: 7,500 sft
Project Area: 3,600 sqf
Project Year: 2007
Photographs: Christopher Wesnofske

Atlantic Beach is an established beach community on Long Island, immediately outside of New York City.  It is filled with modest houses from the 1920’s and 30’s in Tudor, Spanish and Art Deco styles.  As real estate prices rose in the last decade, the village saw a lot of “tear-down” activity, as older houses were replaced by much larger homes.  The Kowalewski residence is an attempt to insert a distinctly modern house into the village context in a manner that is respectful of the scale and architectural traditions of the community.  The house does not maximize either the bulk or lot coverage allowed by zoning.  It is oriented with the narrow face – only slightly wider than the former house on the lot – toward the street, with the traditional side driveway and rear garage.  Siting the compact footprint at the north edge of the 85-foot-square lot preserves a wide side garden with mature trees.  In form and materials the house recalls the village’s Art Deco heritage.

ground floor plan

The 3600 SF house was designed as the primary residence for a family with two small children.  For privacy, the street façade is nearly blank, while the principal rooms all open onto the garden to the south.  The ground floor has an open plan for casual living and maximum connection to the outdoors.  The second floor a hallway with continuous skylight leads to four bedrooms and three baths.  A sun room / guest suite on the third floor opens onto a large roof terrace with panoramic views of the island and the ocean.  The clients are collectors of contemporary art and the work of some of their artist friends – like the marble floor in the entry foyer – is incorporated into the architectural design.

© Christopher Wesnofske

The structure is steel, with light-gauge metal framed floors and walls and energy-efficient EIS envelope.  Principal exterior materials are stucco, black slate, stainless steel and glass.  The steel and wood stair floats in a tower glazed in shingled panels of frosted glass, like an over-scaled jalousie window.

Cite: "Kowalewski Residence / Belmont Freeman Architects" 01 Mar 2010. ArchDaily. Accessed 28 May 2015. <http://www.archdaily.com/?p=51148>
  • bLogHouse

    Very strong Corbu resemblance..may be purposeful..

    • Michael

      Le Corbusier resemblance?!
      Maybe after 16 beers….
      Corb’s domestic work was revolutionary.
      I can’t say the same for this.

      • jonas

        it still can be close to corb, even without being revolutionary

      • bLogHouse

        “Le Corbusier resemblance?!
        Maybe after 16 beers….”

        so, what are you saying – that you would need 16 beers to
        see the obvious?! and how many beers does it take to
        understand that instead of opposing my statement, you are actually confirming it?

      • Wes

        We probably wouldn’t have projects anything like this if it weren’t for Corbu. Granted, this is highly derivative (and not revolutionary), but the point remains that its based on a Corbu model.

    • Michael

      boghouse (or whatever your name actually is),

      If you think this house resembles a Le Corbusier design then you have obviously never been to one, or studied hard enough.

      Oh look! There’s a concrete house. It’s just like Tadao Ando!

      • RQH

        Just because he’s comparing it to Corb doesn’t mean he’s asserting that it’s as good as a Corb building. Any knock-off is less good than the original.

        (But I personally see more Gropius than Corb)

      • bLogHouse

        well, visiting designs or studying them hard does not guarantee understanding them as your case successfully proves
        the example with Ando is nonsensical. try harder..

  • eb


    • son of owner

      hey, dont diss my house, is yours better?

      • RQH

        Don’t take it personally. This blog is full of arrogant architecture students who’ve never worked on a real project and find it easy to judge harshly. More than 80% of them will be designing strip malls…

  • ArchUD

    I like the sliced cube look, the huge versicle window is great.

  • ArchUD

    I like the sliced cube look, the huge vertical window is great.

  • RQH

    It’s simple and beautiful. I like it a lot.

    • Dan

      I really like the simplicity and efficiency of the first floor plan. The service/circulation bar along one side, with the kitchen, toilet, stair, and fireplace seems really well resolved and compact. I’d opt for a whole other dressing for the house, but this part I really admire.

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  • http://twitter.com/nicholaspatten/status/9904420338 Nicholas Patten

    I'd Live Here: Kowalewski Residence. http://bit.ly/cnucpM

  • Jonh

    Definitely more Gropius than Corbu.

  • ASD

    good job guys ..

  • hungdang

    very nice. but how understand about small squares and circle of two faces on facade.

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