Ocean Home 50: Our Top Coastal Architects of 2017




 

Our annual collection of Top 50 Coastal Architects includes some of the most innovative, influential, and prolific architects in the world like Richard Landry, Deborah Berke, and others profiled in this issue. So, if you’re dreaming to build a one-of-a kind home in an one-of-a kind coastal location, chances are any one of 2017's Top 50 architects listed here can help turn your dreams into reality. 

 

KAA DESIGN

At a slim 33 feet wide by 105 feet long, the site in the Sand Section of Manhattan Beach in Southern California posed a dilemma: how could someone possibly build an 8,000-square-foot home there for an active family of five, including three teenagers? 

There was a challenge, too, where the site faced the ocean. Nudging right up to it is The Strand, a busy public sidewalk and bike trail where thousands of joggers, walkers, and bikers pass by on a daily basis. Beyond this—across 200 feet of clean, white sand—beckons one of the most sought-after views of the Pacific Ocean. MORE 

DEBORAH BERKE PARTNERS

Back in the late 1960s, ’70s, and ’80s, if you wanted a snappy, geometric gem of a house in the Hamptons, there was one architect to call.

His name was Charles Gwathmey, and he was one of the cutting-edge modernists known as the New York Five. He’d no sooner graduated from the Yale School of Architecture in 1962 than he designed a house for his parents in Amagansett—one that brought him international attention and raised the bar for residential design everywhere. His New York firm, Gwathmey Siegel & Associates Architects, was legendary for its crisp interpretation of modern design.

Today, if you’re looking for a compelling home in the Hamptons, there’s a new go-to gang of designers to consider. They’re also based in New York, and they too have strong connections to Yale. In fact, Deborah Berke, the leader of this 60-person firm was anointed dean of the Yale School of Architecture last year and is the first woman to occupy the position. MORE >

 

SPECHT ARCHITECTS

Everything, it seemed, was going according to plan. Five years ago, Manhattan residents Craig and Stephanie Lofgren owned a compact but ideal beachfront lot on the Jersey Shore, where they dreamed of creating a relaxed weekend retreat for their family of five. MORE >

 

WORKSHOP/APD

Out on Madaket Beach on the western end of Nantucket, there’s no shortage of design restrictions, to be sure. But in designing a family’s summer retreat there, architect Andrew Kotchen, a partner in New York’s Workshop/APD, responded deftly to them all. MORE >

 

LANDRY DESIGN GROUP

 

Architect Richard Landry moved to Los Angeles in the mid-1980s to be where the action is. The Montreal native drove down from recession-plagued Alberta without a green card or visa. He promptly landed four job offers within a week, so he got his visa and stuck around. “My timing was good; there was a lot of potential out there,” he says. “Then I was on my own at 30 years of age and I thought: Yeah, I can do this.”

It was an era when postmodernism was all the rage, coast to coast. In 1986, Michael Graves designed his Pantheon-inspired Team Disney building in Burbank, following the debut of Philip Johnson’s 1984 Chippendale-capped AT&T tower in Manhattan. But Landry skipped that kind of history-referencing design. Instead he embraced modernism—and later turned his attention to other portals to the past. MORE >

PATRICK AHEARN ARCHITECT

I’m here to meet Patrick Ahearn, one of New England’s most renowned and prolific residential architects, and see the very personal and private retreat that he has built for Marsha, his wife of 28 years, their five adult children and baby granddaughter. MORE >

 

ROBERT A.M. STERN ARCHITECTS

Robert A.M. Stern Architects is a 300-person firm of architects, interior designers, and supporting staff. Over its five-decade history, the firm has established an international reputation as a leading design firm with wide experience in residential, commercial and institutional work. MORE >

 

BOHLIN CYWINSKI JACKSON

Bohlin Cywinski Jackson (BCJ) is noted for elegant and humane design, ranging from modest houses to large academic, civic, cultural, commercial, and corporate buildings. MORE >

 

CHRISTOPHER ROSE ARCHITECTS

Christopher Rose Architects is a small, collaborative design firm focusing on detail, clarity, tradition and innovation. Comprised of a few individuals who have worked together for many years, the firm brings a wide variety of expertise and knowledge to every project. MORE >

 

SB ARCHITECTS

A stylish vacation retreat paired with stunning private residences. MORE >

 

CHARLES HILTON ARCHITECTS

To see a dazzling transformation of wood into exquisite artful form, look no further than this handsome family home perched on a point overlooking Long Island Sound in Riverside, Conn. The classic Shingle Style residence, designed by Charles Hilton of Charles Hilton Architects in nearby Greenwich, changes simple, straightforward wood into an ethereal showstopper. MORE >

 

ROGER FERRIS + PARTNERS

Roger Ferris + Partners is a renowned architectural firm practicing architecture, interior design and master-planning services for private and public sectors. With offices in Westport, Conn., New York City and Bridgehampton, N.Y., the firm’s approach to design and its passion for diverse and challenging projects is enhanced by the ability to cross-pollinate design skills among building typologies. MORE >

 

BRILLHART ARCHITECTURE

Miami-based Brillhart Architecture is borne out of a love for and facility with “making” things. In the natural course of development, tectonics, materiality and the logic of construction have become a primary focus of interest. MORE >

 

CHOEFF LEVY FISCHMAN

Leading architects Choeff Levy Fischman create a stunning contemporary home on the Venetian Islands in Miami. MORE >

 

STRANG ARCHITECTURE

Award-winning architect Max Strang designs a striking contemporary home in Coconut Grove, just south of Miami, with beautiful views of a private canal and Biscayne Bay. MORE >

 

HARRISON DESIGN

With four offices on or near the eastern seaboard, Harrison Design creates beautiful Atlantic coastal homes from Maine to Key West. MORE >

 

DE REUS

Hawaii’s de Reus Architects Making Waves Worldwide. MORE >

 

GUY PETERSON

A modernist in his approach to architecture and design, Guy Peterson speaks a language of honesty and simplicity. He calls his work poetic and human, saying that it evokes emotions and comes from the heart. Through light, shadow, color, and indigenous materials, he creates an aesthetic that's clean, sustainable, and aimed at delight. MORE >

 

REX NICHOLS ARCHITECTS

Rex Nichols Architects has been established for more than 30 years and is dedicated to the design of high quality residential and commercial projects and specializes in waterfront properties. MORE >

 

NICHOLAEFF ARCHITECTURE + DESIGN

Doreve Nicholaeff embraces “bold.” Whether she’s ramping up a home’s geometry with curves or straight lines or reawakening stalwart New England traditions with modern tenets, she abstracts from the past to create the new. MORE >

 

ROYAL BARRY WILLS

Royal Barry Wills conceives every house to fulfill the unique dreams and aspirations of each of its clients and to take advantage of the opportunities present in each site. MORE >

 

ALEXANDER GORLIN ARCHITECTS

It’s a modern riff on a classical theme. In the bucolic setting of the Hamptons, on New York’s Long Island, architect Alexander Gorlin has designed a beach house that invokes Janus – that ancient dual-faced Roman deity – as he deftly responded to a site with panoramic views of both sunrise and sunset. MORE >

 

BARNES COY ARCHITECTS

A particularly persistent myth concerning coastal architecture is the need for huge terraces and many balconies facing the water. MORE >

 

BATES MASI + ARCHITECTS

A full-service architectural firm with roots in New York City and the East End of Long Island for more than 50 years, Bates Masi + Architects responds to each project with extensive research in architecture, materials, craft and the environment for unique solutions as varied as the individuals or groups for whom they are designed. MORE >

 

BLAZE MAKOID

To Blaze Makoid, an architect based in Bridgehampton, NY, designing a statement home for clients is not a matter of how they live. “It’s how they want to live,” he says. MORE >

 

FAIRFAX & SAMMONS

Out on the east end of Long Island, N.Y., above a challenging patch of land overlooking Little Peconic Creek, stands a modest cedar-shingled Cape Cod cottage in the 18th century style. This one, however, is a newcomer. MORE >

 

IKE KLIGERMAN BARKLEY

If the mastery of a great ocean home is measured by its sense of anticipation, this exceptional vacation retreat in the coastal enclave of Watch Hill, Rhode Island, succeeds on every level. MORE >

 

PETER PENNOYER ARCHITECTS

Peter Pennoyer Architects (PPA) is an award-winning practice in traditional architecture and is widely recognized as a leader in classicism and historic preservation. Based in Manhattan and with an office in Miami, the firm has built a substantial and varied body of work across the United States and abroad for residential, commercial, and institutional commissions often involving historic buildings. MORE >

 

RICHARD MEIER & PARTNERS ARCHITECTS

For more than five decades, Richard Meier & Partners has been selected to create important works in both the private and public spheres. “We aspire to thoughtful, elegant contemporary architecture that exceeds our clients’ expectations for beauty and form, and fulfills complex programmatic and operational needs,” he says. MORE >

 

OBM INTERNATIONAL

Perched atop one of the highest points on Scrub Island, the grandest villa in the collection is The Spinnaker House, a lavish six-bedroom, six-bath with stunning southward Caribbean views across the channel to Marina Cay and Tortola. MORE >

 

R.A. SHAW DESIGNS

Since 1998, R.A Shaw Designs has mastered the art of building dreams and bringing imaginations to life. Based in Turks and Caicos, the firm specializes in the design and craft of luxury residences that capture the essence of open tropical living. MORE >

 

CUTLER ANDERSON ARCHITECTS

When renowned architect Jim Cutler is at his best, he responds to two givens for any residential design: environmental circumstance and how his clients live. At Ohana House, on the north coast of Hawaii's Big Island, he has interpreted both with exquisite attention to detail. MORE >

 

OLSON KUNDIG ARCHITECTS

As if the winds at Slaughterhouse Beach on Maui's dramatic northwest coastline aren't frisky enough already, renowned architect Tom Kundig has turbocharged them in his design for a spectacular home overlooking this legendary surfing spot. MORE >

 

CHRISTOPHER ARCHITECTURE & INTERIORS

Working with a palette of materials and colors appropriate to each space, the designers at Christopher Architecture & Interiors seek to balance the pragmatics of budget and lifestyle with a proportioned and elegant design. MORE >

 

BURDGE & ASSOCIATES

Douglas W. Burdge AIA and his team of designers are recognized for their diverse architectural styles, including Spanish Mediterranean, Traditional, “Rustic-Modern” and cutting-edge Contemporary, from Malibu to Sun Valley to Los Cabos, Mexico. MORE >

 

GEOFF SUMICH DESIGN


Geoff Sumich’s approach to design is based on the concept of "romantic modernism" where he references and incorporates elements of the past while celebrating the simplicity and minimalism of modern design. MORE >

 

CARDELLO ARCHITECTS

Robert A. Cardello Architects is an award winning, high-end design firm creating beautiful spaces, locally and around the country.   We work both residential and commercial projects, with a specialty in fine home design. MORE >

 

ALLAN GREENBERG ARCHITECT

Allan Greenberg Architect, LLC was established in 1972 and has offices in New York, New York and Alexandria, Virginia. The firm has an international reputation for combining contemporary construction techniques with the best architectural traditions to create solutions that are both timeless and technologically progressive. MORE >

 

SHOPE RENO WHARTON

SRW opened its doors in 1981, working on small residential and light commercial projects. Through hard work, determination and a love of our craft, our work has grown to include a portfolio of houses, equestrian centers, golf clubhouses, schools, museums, and libraries. MORE >

 

DOUGLAS VANDERHORN ARCHITECTS

Douglas VanderHorn Architects is a classically-focused architecture firm specializing in residential design. Drawing on an accomplished career spanning three-decades, Douglas VanderHorn creates each new home with inspiration from the rich architectural traditions of the past and seamlessly incorporates innovative building technologies, modern conveniences, and tailor-made features. MORE >

 

SILBERSTEIN ARCHITECTURE

 

Silberstein Architecture was founded by Jeffrey Silberstein, AIA in 1989 and specializes in modern residential architecture. MORE >

 

MOREHOUSE MACDONALD AND ASSOCIATES

Morehouse MacDonald & Associates (MMA) proves that smaller firms can compete with national firms. This 60 year old architecture and interiors firm has an award winning history of designing custom homes in the Greater Boston, Cape and Islands area of Massachusetts. Recently MMA expanded their impressive coastal and island portfolio to include residences in South Carolina, Florida and the Caribbean.  MORE > 

 

PETER ROSE & PARTNERS

Nestled in the richly wooded grounds of a narrow strip of land on the island of Chappaquiddick near Edgartown, Massachusetts, this single-family residence is part of a collection of environment- and landscape-centric interventions that blur the boundaries between structures and landscape, and between inside and outside. MORE >

 

POLHEMUS SAVERY DASILVIA ARCHITECTS

Broad flat columns, big overhangs, crisp triangular roof shapes, window sizes ranging from extra small to extra large, fat window muntins, and a flaring copper chimney cap give Sundowner a happy, iconic character of “home” that a child’s drawing might evoke. MORE >

 

SELLDORF ARCHITECTS

  Selldorf Architects is a 65-person architectural design practice founded by Annabelle Selldorf in New York City in 1988. The firm creates public and private spaces that manifest a clear and modern sensibility to enduring impact. MORE >

 

FOUGERON ARCHITECTURE

Fougeron Architecture is a nationally recognized design firm whose work exhibits a strong commitment to clarity of thought, design integrity, and quality of architectural detail. The firm's decidedly modernist attitude is the result of founder Anne Fougeron's vision to create a practice dedicated to finding the perfect alignment between architectural idea and built form. MORE > 

 

STEVEN HARRIS ARCHITECTS

Steven Harris Architects is an award winning design firm with extensive and varied experience in both public and private commissions. The office takes a collaborative approach to design, fostering an open exchange of ideas both within the firm and with clients. MORE >

 

TOSHIKO MORI ARCHITECT

Toshiko Mori Architect is known for over thirty years of innovative and influential work in a diverse body of projects that have received numerous design awards. Mori’s intelligent approach to ecologically sensitive siting strategies, historical context, and innovative use of materials reflects a creative integration of design and technology. MORE >

 

STELLE LOMONT ROUHANI

We strive to create a rewarding design and building experience for our clients. Each project is unique and a response to the client’s program, budget, schedule and site. MORE >

 

AUSTIN PATTERSON DISSTON​

Situated on a secluded lot in Quogue and offering views of the bay from its rooftop terrace, this new modern house is composed of a series of stacked rectangular volumes that loosely form an L-shape. MORE >

 

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