Charles Gwathmey was an influential architect for many decades in the 1900s, so when one of his works showed up in need of renovation in Amagansett, New York, architecture and design studio Worrell Yeung enthusiastically jumped on board.
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The home, originally known as the Haupt Residence, was constructed in the 1970s and has remained unchanged, standing as an example of Gwathmey’s work. The team at Worrell Yeung approached the project with reverence. Max Worrell, co-founder of Worrell Yeung said, “We’re big fans of Gwathmey – particularly his early stuff. So we were very excited when we got the call about the house. Especially given that it was in its original condition, totally untouched.” He continued, “Our intention, at first, was really to do as little as possible.”
While the result was a full renovation of the exterior and some changes to the inside, restoration was really at the forefront of the theme. Worrell says they had the original drawings to work from, so they made gradual changes while trying to maintain the original design. Worrell says, “At every stage of the process we were asking ourselves, ‘What would Gwathmey do?’”
The team had good bones to work within the four-bedroom home dubbed House in the Dunes. It sits on an acre of land with surrounding views of dunes and the ocean.
The outside reflects the coastal vibe with gray cedar cladding, but it was showing the wear of the years so the team preserved the essence of the original design while bringing a modern appeal in a new roof, cedar siding, doors and windows, skylights, and pool deck.
The inside benefits from the natural light streaming in through doors and windows. These openings also connect the indoors and the outdoors, allowing the owners to seamlessly move from the living space to the pool to the ocean beyond. To achieve this flow, Worrell Yeung made a small but impactful design change by removing a half wall between the living room and kitchen.
With relatively small structural changes, the Worrell Yeung team moved onto interior design with respect to Gwathmey’s original designs, replacing white pine trim and matching the original kitchen laminate.
Photography by Naho Kubota