Touch Of Hand
A Thoughtfully Modern Living Space With General Assembly
Water Mill, Southhampton, New York

Architecture by General Assembly Studio
Contractor: Atlantic Collaborative
A client we had helped with their city residence had a new challenge. With the deed to a New England style gabled and shingled Hampton’s house in hand, they wanted to create a thoroughly modern living space that built upon the personality of the original home.
Sightlines mattered. General Assembly Studio reimagined the home with open interior spaces. The immovable walls of the kitchen caused constraints that were at odds with the client’s desire to interact with guests in the kitchen. We challenged the notion of a single island, creating a second island outside of the work zone where guests can sit and socialize with the cook. When it comes to cocktail or mealtime, it doubles as a serving spot. The placement also gives the client views to the outdoor socializing spaces and gardens.
Movement mattered. To help navigate the way people moved through the space, we put our whole home tailored solutions to work. The feeling of the kitchen connects to the adjacent sitting room and flows out to the dining area through a common material language and the proportional relationships of the forms – from heavy to light.

Thickness mattered. Thick panels, shelves, and door pulls served as the unifier between the traditional vernacular of the architecture and the client's desire for a clean modern feel.
Texture mattered. The rustic grain and 'country' feel of oak was topped with a silver/gray finish for that just-right feeling of relaxed spirit with sophistication.
The island doubles as a staging area for cooking and a centerpiece for friends and family. A workbench in function, it features a variety of drawers for deep storage capacity, as well as integrated electrical outlets and an easy-to-reach place to keep the custom cutting boards.

Intended consequence: An environment that stands the test of time both in terms of design and craft quality. A unique blend of a traditional feel of 'hand' on the outside with sophisticated functional features on the inside.

Unintended consequence: A new material that is now a standard offering (gray oak).