This North Fork house was design by SO-IL and Carl Shenton of Shenton Architects, both of Brooklyn, in a spirit of collaboration with the owners. That collegial environment extended to the site planning — the house’s location on a slope high above Long Island Sound would have implications on subsequent grading, the necessity for retaining walls and for scores of extant, native trees. The selected site permitted the preservation of nearly all of the existing trees, groves comprised of eastern red cedar (Juniperus virginiana), red and post oak (Quercus rubra, Q. stellata), and black cherry (Prunus serotina) twisted into dramatic sculptural forms by years of wind and salt from the Sound.
Landscape design responsibilities for this project included a survey of key existing trees, the subsequent design of the entry drive through what turned out to be a fairly diverse woodland, hardscape and grading plans for the house’s environs, assorted pathways and landscape plantings, the repurposing of enormous boulders unearthed during the house’s excavation, some reforestation, the siting and execution of a bluff staircase to the beach; coordination for an entry gate and driveway lighting, a green roof and a basketball court. There was also a substantial amount of site work which included the eradication of thousands of invasive exotic plants, the removal of debris and the seeding of meadow areas.