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  7. Fishers Island House / Thomas Phifer

Fishers Island House / Thomas Phifer

  • 01:00 - 19 September, 2010
Fishers Island House / Thomas Phifer
Fishers Island House / Thomas Phifer, ©  Scott Frances
©  Scott Frances

©  Scott Frances ©  Scott Frances ©  Scott Frances ©  Scott Frances +12

  • Location

    Fishers Island, NY, United States
  • Managing Partner

     Thomas Phifer AIA
  • Project Partner

     Donald Cox AIA
  • Project Architect

     Andrew Mazor
  • Collaborators

     Adam Ruffin, Eric Richey, Jonathan Benner, Lisa Tilney, Rebecca Emmons
  • Structural Engineer

     Skidmore, Owings & Merrill
  • Mechanical Engineers

     Ambrisino, DePinto&Schmieder
  • Lighting Designer

     Office for Visual Interaction
  • Metal Canopy

     Allen Architectural Metals
  • General Contractor

     BD Remodeling & Restoration
  • Project Year

    0
  • Photographs

From the architect. Meandering gardens and woods, sparked with daffodils, peonies and daylilies, flank the straight drive in. Up ahead near the path’s end is an aperture framed by an arbor of apple trees, capturing an elemental view of sky and water: the horizon of the Long Island Sound. As you reach closer range, you suddenly realize you have been looking not merely through foliage, but also right through the house.

Just behind the copse stands a delicately transparent pavilion. Its light-filtering trellis—a horizontal tracery of slender aluminum rods extending the roof plane—aligns with the canopy of trees before it. Woven into the landscape, this is an architecture of subtlety, a precisely grounded yet quasi-weightless structure, an ethereal rectangle, planted between two existing woods. Like feathery fronds, the trellis reaches toward the bordering leafy branches, while the pavilion’s interior floor plane—fully visible through the glassy, Miesian shell—continues outward, its surface of ebonized bamboo transformed into an exterior plinth of Indian black granite, a walkway, finely striated with shadows from the diaphanous, metal canopy above.

©  Scott Frances
©  Scott Frances

Meanwhile, the entry axis penetrates the pavilion’s simple 4,600-square-foot volume, notching into its far side and emerging as a long, miraculously shallow reflecting pool, incising the lawn with a silvery film, its distant edge dissolving optically into the Sound.

A perimeter path lines the structure’s transparent shell. Freestanding in parallel alignment, the interior walls never meet the enclosure. Instead, they form a virtual box within a box, an implied inner volume. These parallel planes channel long vistas out toward water and garden, only allowing the seascape’s wide, rugged panorama to emerge in full view at the house’s far side.

©  Scott Frances
©  Scott Frances

More than a one-bedroom retreat for a former museum director and his wife, this is also a place of extraordinary 20th century paintings, sculptures, and glassware—much of it conveying a sense of buoyancy or levitation that echoes the pavilion’s lightness. The artwork always figures into view out, even if only peripherally. Conversely, from the gardens, this colorful indoor collection projects a presence outdoors.

In the animated interplay between landscape and art, in the shifting ambiguities between inside and out, the design achieves exceptional balance. An arcing swath of vibrant yellow sedum in the garden resonates with the golden footbridge in a Chinese screen inside; a mossy rock garden projects into the pavilion’s simple volume, while the bedroom nestles into a private apse of garden vegetation. You can look straight through the house without realizing it, but you could also mistake reflections of trees for glimpses through the pavilion. Morphing with the skies, flourishing seasonally, the dialogue evolves, nourishing the owner’s desire to live in the garden—with art.

Cite: "Fishers Island House / Thomas Phifer" 19 Sep 2010. ArchDaily. Accessed . <http://www.archdaily.com/78208/fishers-island-house-thomas-phifer/>
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30 Comments

Kate Allen · November 08, 2011

Fishers Island House / Thomas Phifer | ArchDaily http://t.co/hVu5VC2k via @archdaily

Massimo Buiatti · July 13, 2011

Fishers Island House la casa - non casa progettata da Thomas Phifer http://t.co/O1GMb0R

EngiNERD · April 14, 2011

Please be advised the project is up for a structural engineering award from www.seaoi.org

Gerard · February 14, 2011

RT @matagouri: Fishers Island House / Thomas Phifer | ArchDaily http://t.co/M7g3C2H via @archdaily

matagouri · February 14, 2011

Fishers Island House / Thomas Phifer | ArchDaily http://t.co/M7g3C2H via @archdaily

June Street · October 14, 2010
Kevin Parent · September 22, 2010

Fishers Island House / Thomas Phifer | ArchDaily: http://bit.ly/cmLzBy via @addthis

Operations Research · September 22, 2010

[Fishers Island House] Thomas Phifer: I&#39m sure that Mies would be proud. http://www.archdaily.com/78208...

Orgone Design · September 21, 2010

RT @ArchDaily: Fishers Island House / Thomas Phifer http://archdai.ly/dztU8x #architecture

CA Renovations · September 21, 2010

RT @homedecornews: Fishers Island House / Thomas Phifer http://bit.ly/buSNBe #architecture

Home Decor News · September 21, 2010

Fishers Island House / Thomas Phifer http://bit.ly/buSNBe #architecture

tomokazu hayakawa · September 20, 2010

Fishers Island House / Thomas Phifer http://bit.ly/9WFDp3

SPG · September 20, 2010

@sdf- Perhaps the visual noise comes from a tension created by the abundance of objects which are housed within this beautiful structure. A paring back would, in my opinion, greatly enhance the reading of the complex angles that shift and change across the light filtering trellis throughout the passing day.The photo of the sparse kitchen supports this idea. I think the owners might possess a few too many beautiful things and cannot resist the temptation to put them all on display at the same time. Careful editing and rotation are key components for any successful gallery (or museum).

ASphere · September 20, 2010

Nice

hope that they've no neighbor

sdf · September 20, 2010

although its very beutiful and fresh there is some kind of visual noise

DESIGN*aRt::archive · September 20, 2010

RT @archdaily: Fishers Island House / Thomas Phifer http://archdai.ly/dztU8x #architecture

Gustavo Dienstmann · September 20, 2010

aqui eu moraria facinho facinho http://www.archdaily.com/78208...

Hyunchang Cho · September 20, 2010

Fishers Island House / Thomas Phifer | ArchDaily http://t.co/ocL69h2 via @archdaily

chm23 · September 20, 2010

looks like an elongated version of the Brochstein pavilion

Dan · September 21, 2010 05:12 PM

Ditto...its just like the Brochstein pavilion at Rice University.

stephen varady · September 19, 2010

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DEZIGN · September 19, 2010

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Stuart Thompson · September 19, 2010

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Architecture+Molding · September 19, 2010

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Architekt R V Scholz · September 19, 2010

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GR2TF · September 19, 2010

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Barry Maguire · September 19, 2010

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Hot In Real Estate · September 19, 2010

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Deasy Pesoth · September 19, 2010

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Bocetos Digitales · September 19, 2010

Fishers Island House / Thomas Phifer: © Scott FrancesArchitect: Thomas Phifer Location: Fishers Island, New York, ... http://bit.ly/aumfW2

up_today_arch · September 19, 2010

Couple of openings in the ceilings alsow very interesting. But I can not see them in more detaile.

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©  Scott Frances

渔人岛住宅 / Thomas Phifer