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REX unveils final design of a "disappearing" Necklace Residence in a jungle of Long Island

United States Architecture News - May 10, 2019 - 02:02   2313 views

REX unveils final design of a

New York-based architecture firm REX has unveiled the final design for its mirrored "Necklace Residence" located in a jungle of Long Island, New York, USA. Designed for three generations of a family, the house is comprised of different volumes plugged in a circular platform in different angles within the forest. 

The functional programming is the core of the design to adapt three generations' different needs and lifestyles changing over time. Called Necklace Residence, the private residence is designed for a patriarch and his four children’s future families, including parents’ home, four children’s homes, and (A-Z) bar, billiards, children’s play rooms, event space, garage, gym, home cinema, indoor and outdoor swimming pools, library, spa, staff support areas, study, and wine cellar.

REX unveils final design of a

Image © Luxigon

Described as a family residence in "a jewel box for individual lifestyles", the owner, his wife, his four children, and each of their four families will be able to reside in the house. 

"Three of the children are currently too young to have families of their own, or to define their future needs and desires. A building concept is therefore required that can accommodate families who do and do not yet exist," said REX.

"The patriarch’s other major wishes are that the ensemble of five homes have the architectural integrity of a single building, that the building look as though it has always been part of the site, and that it incorporate a ceremonial stair."

REX unveils final design of a

Image © Luxigon

The architects created a structure where each home can be experienced autonomously and as a component of a larger domestic network, the residence’s program is organized into a necklace. 

Necklace Residence consists of five homes and two shared pavilions: an event space and an entertainment space (including bar, billiards, library, and study). A second and third tier beneath the main level includes a garage, a gym, a home cinema, an indoor swimming pool, a staff area, a spa, and a wine cellar.

REX unveils final design of a

Image © Luxigon

"The extraordinary site commands views out to Long Island Sound from a high bluff on one side, and into a dense, old-growth forest on the other," added the architects.

"Straddling the line between these radically different landscapes, the necklace achieves a residential Holy Grail, existing simultaneously at the beach and in the woods. Each of the five homes is thereby afforded different site experiences: ocean, forest, or half-and-half."

REX unveils final design of a

Image © Luxigon

While the ocean side of the residence is on grade, its forest side extends horizontally into the tree canopy due to the site’s steep drop-off creating a treehouse experience for its residents.

The architects designed a distinct living typology for each of the five homes to address the possible needs and proclivities of families who do not yet exist: U House, Checkerboard House, Stripe House, Barcode House and Dice House - all based on archetypal American houses.

"Should the four children and their families live permanently at the residence, this palette of homes will provide them options that can accommodate their lifestyle preferences. Should they only make frequent visits to the residence, they can enjoy different architectural and site experiences upon each stay," added the firm. 

REX unveils final design of a

Image © Luxigon

The outer skin of the residence is almost invisible due to its mirrored façade. The residence’s exterior is wrapped in mirror glass such that upon approach, the building disappears into the site. The effect reduces the perception of the structure’s large mass, and by looking like it is not there at all, actually achieves the patriarch’s desire for a structure that "looks as if it has always been part of the site."

Driving under the residence’s elevated components, one enters the courtyard: a secret garden of Quaking Aspen surrounded by a ring of clear glass with a circular walkway behind, which ties this three-generational-family campus together visually.

REX unveils final design of a

Overlooking the courtyard garden, the circular walkway is the physical connector for all the residence’s gems. It is lined by a simple cherrywood wall that morphs into functional yet playful, ribbon-like objects—as if sculpted or rolled by hand—within the Event Pavilion (seen above from across the courtyard) and Entertainment Pavillion. 

The wood wall is divided into full-height, pivoting panels that can open each home up, or close them off, when families want to engage each other or want privacy. 

REX unveils final design of a

Image © Luxigon

The Event Pavilion is the most striking volume of the residence and the wood wall transforms into a ceremonial stair, which connects  the seven upper gems to the below-grade spaces, descending directly into the wine bar on Level -1.

REX unveils final design of a

Image © Luxigon

The wood wall morphs into a bar, library, and study. In addition to its function, it provides a maximum aesthetic from both outside and inside, changing the atmosphere of the building. The Entertainment Pavilion’s object also extends below the house to form a stair—with an interior mud room—connecting to the forest.

REX unveils final design of a

REX unveils final design of a

Plan Level -2

REX unveils final design of a

Plan Level -1

REX unveils final design of a

Plan Level -1

REX unveils final design of a

Plan Level -2

REX unveils final design of a

REX unveils final design of a

REX unveils final design of a

REX unveils final design of a

REX unveils final design of a

REX unveils final design of a


Project Facts

Client: Confidential
Program: Private residence for a patriarch and his four children’s future families, including parents’ home, four children’s homes, and (A-Z) bar, billiards, children’s play rooms, event space, garage, gym, home cinema, indoor and outdoor swimming pools, library, spa, staff support areas, study, and wine cellar
Area: 4,000 m² (43,500 sf)
Construction Budget: Confidential
Status: Invited competition 2013; first prize 2013; completed Construction Documents 2018; commenced site mobilization 2018; completion expected 2021
Design Architect: REX
Personnel: Tim Burwell, Alberto Cumerlato, Maur Dessauvage, Shereen Doummar, Mahasti Fakourbayat, Mette Fast, Alysen Hiller Fiore (PL), Tyler Hopf, Gabriel Jewell-Vitale, Min Kim, Elizabeth Nichols, Kelsey Olafson, Joshua Ramus, Raul Rodriguez (PL), Emma Silverblatt, Aude Soffer, Minyoung Song, Elina Spruza Chizmar (PL), Michele Tonizzo, Cristina Webb, Vaidotas Vaiciulis, Michael Volk, Danny Wei
Executive Architect: Andrew Giambertone
Consultants: Front, Knippers Helbig, Altieri Sebor Wieber, Tillotson, LaGuardia, Audio Command Systems, Hanington Eng., Sidney Bowne & Son, Construction Specifications

Top image © Luxigon

All drawings © REX

> via REX