Water views, natural ventilation and a striking palette define architect Blaze Makoid’s home in Sag Harbor.
What's Your Angle? | Architect Blaze Makoid used a variety of different window shapes, but with clever construction they don't appear random on the outside.
What were your goals with this design?
I wanted to show how warm, comfortable and durable a modern house can be. We live with and use everything every day, 12 months a year—through rain, snow, sand, sun, salt—so it couldn’t be precious.
What materials are used on the exterior?
We have a standing-seam metal roof; natural, steel-troweled stucco; and cedar. I don’t think there’s a need to add anything superfluous if the basis of the design is a good one. I like simple materials that are easy to maintain. We’re planning on being here for a long time.
What are some of the things you took into consideration when building your home?
This house is all about one view. That was a no-brainer. The hard part was figuring out how to maximize that view from as many vantage points as possible on a difficult site. The other issue was natural ventilation. The prevailing breezes are in direct contention with the views, so we had to locate operable windows and doors in spots that allow breezes to move through the house, and not just into individual rooms. This condition turns on its head in the winter, when we can have 20- to 30-mile-perhour winds blowing all the way across the Sound and through Sag Harbor Cove. Sometimes I feel as if we’re the backstop for everything coming from Connecticut in the winter.
What features of the exterior do you admire the most?
I just love the fact that the house has a lot of black on the walls and trim. I kayaked around the cove one day and photographed about 100 houses and pinned them up at the office. What we found interesting was the more traditional houses with white trim around the doors and windows were the houses that were more visible. I remember being nervous when the house was entirely white from the primer. We test-painted three “blacks” on large swaths of wall, and my wife and I both picked the blackest we could find. I was still nervous. But after it was painted I knew we had made the right choice. We took a leap of faith and it really made all the difference.