The design for a new 6,000 sf summer home in the Southampton woods, clad inside and out in Spanish cedar, cantilevers two boxes over each other to create public and private space for a small family. On the bottom floor are the kitchen, living room, and two screened-in porches, and on the top a pair of master suites and children's rooms. An infinity pool at the center of the home can be seen from nearly everywhere.
The defining features of the house, whose footprint is an asymmetrical cruciform, are three long cantilevers, which are framed using traditional and untraditional residential construction methods. At the upper floor, the main structural component is the use of LVL chords and a plywood web to create a long cantilevered beam in all-wood construction. Typically, steel beams would support the floor and roof for this length of cantilever, especially because the weight of the entire house goes into it. Designing the side walls as large wood box beams meant the connections of the top and bottom 'flanges' of the beam needed to be able to transmit all the beam shear through the stud walls, with the plywood sheathing on both sides making up the 'web' of the beam. This required analysis of the shear flow and meticulous scheduling of both the nails that attach the plywood to the wall studs and the bolts that tie the flanges and web together to develop the required shear and moment capacity. Openings in the walls were analyzed like web penetrations in a steel beam, and additional structure was provided where needed to reinforce the 'wall beam'. By using the walls structurally the house is able to hold itself up, which allows for the clean architectural lines along the low soffits.