Amagansett Modular House / MB Architecture

Amagansett Modular House / MB Architecture

© Matthew Carbone © Matthew Carbone © Matthew Carbone © Matthew Carbone + 11

Amagansett, United States
  • Architects: MB Architecture
  • Area Area of this architecture project Area:  1800 ft²
  • Year Completion year of this architecture project Year:  2019
  • Photographs Photographs:  Matthew Carbone
  • Manufacturers Brands with products used in this architecture project
    Manufacturers: Ligne Roset, MUJI, Tolix, Saarinen, SnapSpace Solutions
  • Lead Architect: Maziar Behrooz
  • Associate Architect : Bruce Engel
  • Intern: Eudine Blancardi
  • General Contractor: Charles Gallanti Inc.
  • Structural Engineering: Keith Ewing
  • Landscape Design: MB Architecture
  • Custom Furniture: Santiago Campomar
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© Matthew Carbone
© Matthew Carbone

Text description provided by the architects. Our clients, a couple with 3 children, had purchased a triangular, wooded, corner lot on high ground in Amagansett, NY and contacted us to explore means of building a house for their summer and year-round-weekend use. The site is constricted due to its shape, but, due to its elevation, affords beautiful sunset views and light. Programmatically, we were asked to provide 4 bedrooms, 3 shareable bathrooms, kitchen and living spaces; plus, outdoor eating and recreation areas and a pool; and enough lawn area to play games.

© Matthew Carbone
© Matthew Carbone

More critically, our clients had a limited budget—significantly below prevailing construction costs. They were open to exploring materials, methods of construction, and design strategies that would yield both affordable and exciting solutions.

Floor plans
Floor plans

Based on prior experience, we knew that conventional ‘stick-build’ construction using local labor would be prohibitively expensive. We suggested prefabricating the building off-site; and the use of shipping containers to lower cost, ease transportation, and provide the kind of design experimentation that they were open to. Our past work proved that by streamlining this process, we could achieve significant cost reductions.

© Matthew Carbone
© Matthew Carbone

But shipping containers are inherently narrow (7’-2” wide, finished inside). So, we opted to stack two 40’ long x 8’ wide containers on top of two and carve out the interior floor/wall/ ceiling of half of this ‘4-pack’ unit to create a voluminous, 17’ tall, living space that would create an exciting and necessary spatial relief. To reach the second floor from this room, we chose to install a wide staircase, taking the whole width of a single container; in this manner, we extend the high living room ceiling and transform the stair itself into a kind of ‘amphitheatrical’ room that faces the backyard, pool, and sunsets—through floor-to-ceiling, wall-to-wall, windows.

© Matthew Carbone
© Matthew Carbone

The simplicity of spatial layout and materials were sought to yield compelling and uncluttered rooms while achieving budget goals. As such, we used the rectilinear geometry of containers, and their inherent structural strengths to guide room layout and structural requirements. In fact, the small 10’ x 10’ 2nd-floor extension is essentially bolted and welded back to the main building and held in tension—it is devoid of beams underneath. The single container housing two bedrooms are placed slightly away from the main building to create courtyard-like outdoor spaces that allow the building to nestle into the sloping landscape while making the small house feel spacious.

© Matthew Carbone
© Matthew Carbone

A single tall oak tree was carefully retained during construction and maintains a pivotal point anchoring the two parts of the building together. The transparent bridge connecting these two building parts is surrounded by tall grasses and shrubs creating a pleasant walk-through experience both as one travels through the bridge and as one approaches the front door of the house. Our building was installed in two days; fully completed in two months, and cost significantly and meaningfully less than prevailing building costs.

© Matthew Carbone
© Matthew Carbone

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Cite: "Amagansett Modular House / MB Architecture" 21 Apr 2020. ArchDaily. Accessed . <https://www.archdaily.com/937982/amagansett-modular-house-mb-architecture/> ISSN 0719-8884

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