THE 2008 HC&G IDEA HOUSE
May 1, 2008
A HOUSE DESIGNED TO BE GREEN
It's literally a storybook dwelling. Located on 1.75 sun-kissed acres in Sagaponack, the 2008 HC&G Idea House—a 150-year-old, 3,000-square-foot farmhouse with a new 3,300-square-foot addition—was once owned by From Here to Eternity author James Jones and his wife, Gloria.
But even Jones, who lived and worked in the old structure, probably wouldn't have envisioned the latest chapter in the life of his home. This summer, developer and builder ModernGreenHome, in association with project architect Seth Howe, design director Kyle Timothy Blood and project manager Flavio Espinoza, is completing the construction of one of the most environmentally friendly residences ever to rise in the Hamptons. In addition, the fifth annual HC&G Idea House will feature today's most innovative decorating strategies executed by 22 top design firms (many noted for their "green" design), led by Kyle Timothy Blood and HC&G editorial director Barbara Dixon.
This project, however, almost didn't happen. When ModernGreenHome president Peter Sabbeth first saw the farmhouse a year ago, it had been vacant for about three years and had fallen into disrepair. "It was slated to be knocked down because it was pretty much derelict," Sabbeth says. After another developer backed out, ModernGreenHome took over. "We had a permit to knock it down but we gave it back to the town and said, 'No, obviously the greater thing to do is to restore it and reuse everything there.'" Sabbeth was inspired by the project's historic nature.
The five-bedroom, nine-bathroom house features a glass-enclosed family room, spacious kitchen with dining area, a formal dining room, formal living room, library, veranda, media room, playroom, laundry room, gym, art gallery and wine cellar scattered over three floors. Outside, a new gunite pool and garage sit amongst 200-year-old trees and drought-resistant plants irrigated with recycled rainwater. Roof-mounted photovoltaic panels should provide more than 40 percent of the house's electrical needs.
"I'm of the opinion that this Idea House is more about thinking out of the box than any others that we've done," says Blood, who designed rooms for the last two HC&G Idea Houses. In addition to fine-tuning the floor plans, helping assemble the design team and ensuring design continuity throughout the house with editorial director Barbara Dixon, Blood was also involved in the construction process from the ground up, revamping the electrical plan and meeting with an array of green-minded vendors.
"We had to look beyond our traditional pool of vendors to find sources who had green materials," says Blood. "There are different degrees of green in this house, from a geothermal system to the use of antiques instead of new furniture in some rooms to reduce the carbon footprint. The construction of the actual house is done with the most sustainable materials today. The designers are encouraged, though not limited to, using the greenest decorative products they can. Even though the building industry is further along than the design world, it is quickly catching up with the number of green products being introduced daily in every sector of the industry." With a vast assortment of green materials to choose from, you will see, that style has definitely not been compromised in any way.