Montauk House by Desai Chia features charred wood and exposed concrete

American studio Desai Chia Architects has completed a holiday home on the tip of Long Island, featuring fire-treated timber cladding and large stretches of glass.

Montauk House by Desai Chia

The dwelling is located in Montauk, an oceanfront village that lies just east of the Hamptons. The summer dwelling, which has two storeys and a basement, was created for a family with two children.

Montauk House by Desai Chia

“The house was designed to promote family interaction with easy flow between indoor and outdoor activities and clear sight lines across large sections of the home,” said New York-based Desai Chia Architects in a project description.

L-shaped in plan, the home consists of rectilinear volumes set within a small lot on the corner of two quiet streets. In the summer, a robust oak tree helps provide shade and privacy.

Montauk House by Desai Chia

Exterior walls are composed of exposed concrete and timber that was charred using the ancient Japanese technique of shou sugi ban, which helps make the wood resistant to rot and bugs. The exterior aesthetic is meant to look contemporary while also taking cues from the region’s design traditions.

Montauk House by Desai Chia

“The wood colour and texture reference vernacular Montauk architecture while articulating an iconic, crisp, modern form,” the team said.

Inside, the house features a fluid layout and floor-to-ceiling windows. The living, dining and cooking areas are situated on the upper level, and merge with a long terrace lined with glass railings.

Montauk House by Desai Chia

“Covered by a cantilevered roof, it allows the family to live and dine outside, essentially doubling the size of the living/dining areas in the summer,” the team said.

The upper level also contains a master suite and a pair of studies, one for each parent. A terrace was placed just outside of the two offices, offering outdoor space for reading and working.

Montauk House by Desai Chia

The ground floor houses the family room, three bedrooms and a single-car garage. The family room connects to a garden terrace, which provides another opportunity for activities to spill outdoors.

Rooms feature a neutral colour palette and earthy materials. The charred wood on the exterior continues indoors, framing the upper-floor living spaces and cascading down the staircase to the family room.

Montauk House by Desai Chia

Along the spine of the house, the home’s rugged aesthetic is reinforced by end-grain wood flooring and a “zipper” of exposed ceiling beams. All of the materials in the home “were selected for ease of maintenance and durability for an active family,” the team said.

A number of sustainable features were integrated into the project. The clients wanted to reduce the use of air-conditioning, so the team positioned windows and the central stairwell to take advantage of natural ventilation from prevailing winds.

Montauk House by Desai Chia

Large roof overhangs help reduce solar heat gain, while ample glass brings in natural light. Moreover, the roof conceals a photovoltaic array that creates enough stored-up electricity to run the entire home during a power outage.

Desai Chia Architects was established in 1996 by Arjun Desai and Katherine Chia. Other dwellings by the studio include a Michigan lake house with blackened timber walls and cantilevering roof, and a dwelling in upstate New York that consists of glass box perched on a grassy knoll overlooking a pond.

Photography is by Paul Warchol.

Project credits:

Architect: Desai Chia Architecture
Structural engineering: Murray Engineering
Civil engineering and surveying: Saskas Surveying
Lighting: Christine Sciulli Light + Design
General contractor: Aran

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