Long Island House / Thomas Phifer and Partners

© Thomas Phifer + Partners – rendering by Encore

For Thomas Phifer + Partners’ latest residence, the firm takes inspiration from the envisioned site’s proximity to the water. The seemingly repetitious simplistic form is actually one continuous surface that undulates to carve spaces underneath it.

More images and more about the residence after the break.

© Thomas Phifer + Partners – rendering by Encore

Rising gracefully from the sand dunes, the form fluidly defines different programmatic elements, and its free flowing nature embraces the landscape.

© Thomas Phifer + Partners – rendering by Encore

The residence’s weightless quality, especially its curvilinear attitude, suggest a new direction for Phifer (be sure to view Fishers Island House, previously featured on AD) , and yet, even though aesthetically different, the driving design philosophies remain similar. “Like the quiet, fine-boned pavilions that form a leitmotif throughout the work, this seamlessly unembellished beach structure reflects a yearning to defer to a larger landscape, minimizing architectural intervention. And just as the sensuously sculptural, almost randomly strewn, skylights of several earlier designs play against otherwise rational lines, this undulant cloak finds its counterpoint in a precisely straight-edged plan,” explained the architects.

© Thomas Phifer + Partners – rendering by Encore

The architects expanded, “It is a house with calligraphic flourish, writ lightly yet vibrantly in the sand.”

© Thomas Phifer + Partners – rendering by Encore

All renders by Encore

Cite: Cilento, Karen. "Long Island House / Thomas Phifer and Partners" 22 Sep 2010. ArchDaily. Accessed 19 Sep 2014. <http://www.archdaily.com/?p=78972>


  1. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    nice images, but ah, would appreciate a explanation of roof material / structural system… images seem a little unrealistic without knowing a little more

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      well dear ben, if your client is asking for a HOUSE and you are not able to think or create for whatever lazy reason you have, the most “brilliant ” you can copy is a HOUSE, not a bloody chapel or parabolic structure

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        Parabolic structure should be avoided then because Niemeyer did it before?
        What does it mean? We should go further in the originalistic imaginistic projects every time to feed ones ego?
        Most important is not providing the best living experience?
        Here I see quite nice shapes that indeed remembered me Niemeyer but are far to be a mock-up of any Niemeyer project.
        This is a smart use of those shapes regarding a specific context which is not resembling Niemeyer’s projects context.
        Look-a-like game is really superficial guys. I hope you consider more than just the skin when you work on projects.

  2. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    V beautiful. Regarding roof details and construction, I have confidence that someone of Thomas Phifer’s calibre can make it extraordinary.

  3. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    Hope the owner doesn’t have an art collection. Would be a bitch trying to hang it on those walls…

  4. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    This is just not even nearly enough information for me. I want to see more details, better plans.. the idea is ok, but I want to see how the designers can cope with problems and disadvantages of such a shape.. after all – it really does not have to be this way anyway.

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    Execution would be everything here, but it looks really beautiful. It doesn’t look like a house. Something about seeing it in the landscape, with the stepped plaza going down to the water, gives it a more elemental feeling. I look at it and I think “shelter”. This is great.

  6. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    clever advertising with images that please!
    who can dislike the niemeyer-touch and easy-living by the sea?

    the plan and section don’t fit the rendering!

    lets compare it with the build project some day in the future.
    it’s just that i doubt this is ‘really’ intended to be build.

  7. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    The shape of the roof is inspired by ancient vaults, is wasn’t Niemeyer who invent this shape it’s just construction system like column or beams. This design look nice but I agree that it doasn’t look like a house.

  8. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    What is a house? Really?

    These images are very compelling. Seems to me more inspired from tent like / lite weight tensile structures. It might be fitting to the sea side location – surly does not look solid to me.

    The information provided is more conceptual then actual. as such, it is a good idea showcasing but needs more work and detail to explain how this can fly in real life. I can’t see how the suggested plan program can fit in those beautiful rendered images :-)

    Hope to see more information about this project in the future.

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  10. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    not fair to immediately arrive at a conclusion that its a Niemeyer rip-off just because it’s 5 arches created by an undulating surface. it’s not a failure to be inspired by someone else, but that does not make something an imitation. everyone’s taking inspiration from other sources some or the other time.
    the BASIC CONCEPT is the same as that of the Pampulha, agreed. but THIS execution is that of Phifer’s, not Niemeyer’s. the end result in the two cases are completely different.
    the criticism can be on more constructive lines. I for one would like to know, for example, the long-term effects that the sea-air, and the inevitable storms/hurricanes some or the other time would have on the material used. even a strong wind any day would seriously strain the structure from the way the screen above overhangs the glass facade. and if this is a vaction home, and not inhabited year-round, I would worry about the security aspect — specially with the lightness of the structure and the use of only glass. it would be a breeze to break/cut into such homes.
    who’s ever laid down any law that there can be private patents over basic concepts — forget about architecture — but in any discipline/ art?
    come on let’s learn to give marks where they deserve.

  11. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    The structure appears to be thin shell ferro-concrete. Critics should note that such systems are neither revolutionary nor frail. They fell out of favor many years ago, due to increasing labor costs and the simplified engineering that structural engineers prefered to employ in the post-war boom years. Fortunately, newer computer programs and models have simplified the structual analysis somewhat.

    BRAVO to the architect for reviving this lost art! I covet their structural engineer; he is surely worth his fee!

  12. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    @ paul. Carp. What does a house look like?? If it’s constructable and [will be] livable and people [will] live in it, then it looks like a house.
    MUCH more info please, Thomas Phifer + Partners

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