2019 Merit Award

Residential Design

Residence on Sagg Pond

Bridgehampton, NY

Landscape Architect:

Sawyer Berson Architecture & Landscape Architecture LLP


Project Team:

Whitmores Inc

About the Project:

Located along the edge of SaggPond, this Hamptons residence frames the lush beauty of the natural landscape creating a contemporary year-round family retreat. The spare modern idiom of the house and its geometry extends into the landscape composed of a series of outdoor rooms. The site is accessed via a modern gateway through a long pervious driveway allée. Hedges and a variety of native species of plants fill out the site perimeter, providing privacy as well as a seasonally changing backdrop for the clients’ sculptures. An organic maintenance package developed by the design team protects the health of the clients and the sensitive estuary ecosystem of the pond.


This weekend escape is not your conventional vacation home. Built in 2011 for a tight-knit group of family members, the house is an artful balance of public and private spaces. The social areas within the landscape provide a backdrop for informal barbeques, poolside relaxation and friendly games of tennis. This four-acre landscape is a response to the owners’ desire for a spacious yet intimate getaway; a place where they can enjoy friends and family, and then retreat to a quiet place of their own.

Responding to the client’s interest in sustainable design, the site accommodates a geothermal cooling system and custom green roofs to limit heat island effect and reduce runoff. The home and accompanying features create ample space for the family to enjoy the picturesque backdrop provided by the Pond. Perhaps the optimal place to take in the view is atop the roof deck, created to provide a 360-degree panorama of the impressive Long Island landscape.

Protecting the natural habitats and areas surrounding the site and preserving the native vegetation within the wetland buffer zone was a concern throughout the duration of the planning of this weekend house. The expansive area between the rear lawn and Sagaponack Pond was untouched leaving the pre- existing habitats for wildlife. A boardwalk from the pool area to the pond allows the owners to explore native and migratory wildlife, and to access the pond for kayaking.

Prior to the initial construction of the site, the existing indigenous Eastern Red Cedars that were in conflict with construction were carefully dug and strategically relocated into a configuration to shield the home from winter winds. Likewise, an allée of London Plane trees were planted along the driveway, and individual Elms were planted at crushed gravel patios adjacent to raised bedroom terraces and the south property line to provide shade, privacy, and protection from the prevailing ocean winds. All plants are locally grown.

The site also includes two parterre gardens thriving with seasonal vegetables, herbs, and flowers. These plants are able to thrive due to the protection offered by the trees and clipped privet hedges surrounding these gardens. A prime plot of soil was also chosen for the gardens to ensure that the vegetables and flowers would have the optimal growing space.