Honor Award

North Sea Residence
Southampton, NY USA

Rumsey Farber, Long Island City, NY USA
Client: Lee F. Mindel

Project Statement

The landscape design for this bay-front property integrates modern architecture into its surroundings by juxtaposing a formal, minimalist building and gardening aesthetic and a more natural environment typical of the Atlantic coastline.

The project demonstrates that sustainable landscapes are not only beautiful but also provide important habitat for wildlife, promote plant species diversity, respect the hydrologic cycle and eliminate much of the need for expensive, resource-dependent maintenance regimes and chemical applications. Here, environmental stewardship is tied seamlessly into the comprehensive site plan.

Project Narrative

The compactness and clear definition between the domestic and wilder landscapes is good, where you see the looseness of the pieces floating in a rather beautiful compilation. Beautiful abstract and sculptural qualities.
—2010 Professional Awards Jury

The landscape design for this private residence integrates modern architecture into its surroundings by juxtaposing a formal, minimalist building and gardening aesthetic with a more natural Atlantic coastal environment. This project has won design citations from the New York and Boston chapters of the American Institute of Architects.

Located on Long Island's North Sea Harbor, this two-acre property divides equally into two distinct triangular spaces. The low-lying area on Davis Creek is a coastal wetland subject to regulation by the State of New York Department of Environmental Conservation and the Southampton Town Conservation Board. We have restored this important resource by removing invasive species and a traditional suburban lawn and replacing them with coastal and woodland buffers and a meadow including multilayered plantings of native grasses, groundcovers, shrubs and trees.

Built structures, including the pool, the main residence, the guesthouse and a boardwalk connecting the two buildings, stretch out along the hypotenuse separating the wetland buffers from the more refined spaces upland. With this orientation the residence has full southern exposure across its long front elevation and spectacular bay views to the north.

A stone wall turns its way at right angles across the landscape and serves to define the edges of an entry forecourt, the driveway, formal sunken garden and the pool terrace. Fifteen large shade trees collected in the wild from Montauk, New York have been transplanted in the gravel forecourt and an elegant lawn panel fills the walled courtyard at the front of the house.

The property owner/client is also the design architect for this project—it is his own personal residence. The associate architect is a close personal friend of the owner. Over the course of several years we collaborated with the owner and the project architect and provided a full scope of services, including site analysis and schematic design, design development, and contract documentation, procurement and administration.

Project Resources

Landscape Architect
Rumsey Farber
Jonathan Farber, ASLA, Principal
Bob Rumsey, ASLA, Principal

Design Architect
Shelton, Mindel & Associates, New York USA

Project Architect
Reed Morrison, Osterville, MA USA

Environmental Consultant
Inter-Science, Southampton, NY USA

Lighting Designer
Schwinghammer Lighting, New York USA

General Contractor
Fountainhead Construction, Bridgehampton,

Landscape Contractor
Whitmores, East Hampton, NY USA

Meadow Installation
Jim Grimes Land Design, Montauk, NY USA

Masonry Contractor
Tor Bono, Sag Harbor, NY USA

Pool Contractor
Casual Waters, Bridgehampton, NY USA

Metal Contractor
Creative Metal Works, Bridgehampton, NY USA

Fence and Gate Contractor
Garon Fence, Bedford Hills, NY USA