THE NATURE OF DESIGN
EDMUND HOLLANDER’S FLYING POINT BEACH HOUSE LETS NATURE TAKE CENTER STAGE. BY PAULA DE LA CRUZ
Edmund Hollander’s Flying Point beach house lets nature take center stage.
The crashing waves of the Atlantic are the main theme of the Hamptons’ ambient symphony. The ocean air that conveys the sound into our homes also carries the unmistakable scents of the season, stirring our memories of the tastes and textures of summers past. The best beach gardens embrace every sensory element, transporting us back to the water, the wind, the sand, and the sun. Hollander Design recently finished an oceanfront project at Flying Point that brings all these components into concert.
“The native garden we designed at Flying Point succeeds because it engages all the senses,” says founder Edmund Hollander, whose firm won a 2016 Honor Award from the American Society of Landscape Architects for the entire residence. Located next to a parking area paved with recycled crushed oyster shells, the garden is situated in an open court below the concrete body of the elevated main house.
Hollander Design restored the dune in front of the two pavilions by removing invasive species and replanting native beach grass ( Ammophila breviligulata). “It’s really indistinguishable where Mother Nature’s dune ends and our man-made dune starts,” says Hollander.
Beach grass is planted from plugs, and its roots form a mesh that holds the dune together. Rose shrubs hide the gap between the ground and the elevated floor. Along the sides of the property and the boardwalk leading to the ocean, Northern bayberries ( Myrica pensylvanica) are a great source of food for migratory songbirds. Near the pool house, seaside goldenrod attracts thousands of monarch butterflies in the fall, when the grasses begin to lose their vibrant greens.
As with most Hamptons construction projects, “It started with an old house,” notes Hollander. As the design team developed the new site, it became clear that the architecture would have to cede the spotlight to the natural landscape. Unimpeded by beams and with few window frames, the first view of the ocean from inside the house inevitably yields an aha moment, with the indoors becoming the great outdoors. “There is a direct response of colors between architecture and nature,” Hollander adds. Further, the pool house is made of glass, and the zero-edge pool seems to disappear as it reflects the sky and vegetation. The architecture is bold but not heavy, and although the design is rooted very much in the now, its minimalism makes it classic.
Hollander Design employed only a handful of plant species to compose this landscape, just as very few materials are used in the architecture. Sensitive to the local ecology, this Flying Point house is an exercise in restraint. “It comes from nature,” says Hollander. Never does a garden succeed more than when it quietly complements the simplicity and magic of the natural world. Hollander Design, 200 Park Ave. S., Ste. 1200, NYC, 212-473-0620; hollanderdesign.com
“THERE IS A DIRECT RESPONSE OF COLORS BETWEEN ARCHITECTURE AND NATURE.” — edmund hollander
At this awardwinning Flying Point home designed by Edmund Hollander, the dunescape was fully restored, replacing all the invasive plants with native species to stabilize the fragile dune soils.
left: A raised wooden walkway extends from the residence, along the back of the pool house, and out to the ocean. right: The simple juxtaposition of the main house, pool house, and pool results in a beautifully minimalist landscape.