Surf House by TW Ryan Architecture


TW Ryan Architecture


Scott Frances-OTTO




Ditch Plains. Montauk, New York USA


Surf House is shaped by the raw beauty of its context. Located in the small beach enclave of Ditch Plains, long a favorite of surfers and bohemians, the house seeks to capture the warm otherworldly spirit
that fills the salt air.

Designed for a young West Village family drawn to the area in part because of the similarity to their naYve Ireland, the house embraces the natural materials, finishes and landscape tradiYonal to the area. In the spirit of the early Hampton’s work of architects such as Richard Meier and Charles Gwathmey, tradiYonal materials are made contemporary through a reducYve color palate and the use of pure, primiYve forms. Forms which have presence but whose asymmetry produces an unidenYfiable dissonance.

The monochromaYc black exterior blends with the shadows of the natural landscape, complemenYng the raw beauty of Ditch Plains while opening into an ethereal light-filled interior. Clear forms and subtle detailing define a primiYve yet contemporary architecture.

The scale and finish of the materials transforms as one moves from the entry and up the stairs framing the narraYve of the experience. StarYng at the front edge of the property, one enters between two staggered black cedar fences. One solid and pushed back against a dune, shielding parking, and one open, allowing views and plants to grow through. Black cedar boards matching the dimension of the fence is again used for the exterior cladding. The two gables are clad in flat verYcal boards, while the new extension and entry are arYculated with a 2×1 “corduroy” of cedar baHens. Through a dutch door with a porthole window, the white washed wood walls in the entry hall are conYnued upstairs, treated in ever more opaque stains moving up to the second floor, culminaYng in the white painted open beams and ceiling of the great room.

Text provided by the architect

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