New York, NY


Piano House

Piano House is an addition to a weekend house on Long Island, New York with a music room as the main space. The site is densely wooded with nearby waterways. The project was commissioned by a couple, both psychiatrists, one of whom plays an exquisite Fazioli piano as a passionate hobby.

The program requirements articulated by the clients contained dualities concerning intimacy and exposure that to us initially seemed irreconcilable. Through the process of design, our relationship with our clients led us to appreciate the link between emotion, motivation, and physical space. As a result, our design responded to the way our clients consciously viewed themselves and also to how their unconscious needs and desires might be satisfied - we understood that conventional boundaries were unnecessary and that spatial distinctions could be blurred.

From the entrance to the property, though a large structure, the music room is nearly invisible. In counterpoint, the rear garden façade consists of a dramatic folded glass wall that extends beyond the limits of the music room to serve as the partition for the outdoor shower.

The design of the walls and ceiling of the music room acutely take into consideration acoustics and the movement of sunlight within the space. The glass facade permits the pianist to play on a stage with nature as the audience. For the pianist, smaller windows provide surprising, unexpected views - a person showering in a new outdoor shower; three narrow windows direct the gaze to the bathroom window in the main house, the forest floor, or a slice of sky through which a knife-edge of morning sky can enter. Inside a thick ripple-wall of shelving echoes the bent glass façade and the shape of the piano, a harmony with the music. The addition also includes a dressing room and guest bathroom.

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Status: Unbuilt
Location: East Hampton, NY, US