Architect: PETER ASHER, 1968-69, 1980.

In contemplating the design for building the dune house, I applied a spatial philosophy I had developed…to draw freehand the flow of movement through the space, locate doors and windows according to access and views, and then let that suggest the shape of the building.”--Peter Asher


Most of the noteworthy structures in the Pines are the brainchild of formally trained architects. Peter Asher enrolled in a handful of design courses at Columbia University and apprenticed at firms in Europe, but his experience as a boat builder, furniture designer, and bohemian Village dweller equally inform this endearingly quirky house. Asher admired the thin-shell hyperbolic paraboloid concrete structures developed by the Spanish architect Felix Candela. At 4 Ocean Walk, this techno-futuristic aesthetic is filtered through the improvisational, do-it-yourself sensibility of The Whole Earth Catalog, also known as the hippie bible.


The first floor is a boxy “pedestal,” as Asher described it, built in 1968. The following summer, two paraboloids slowly rose and embraced, with the help of local high school students. A serpentine walkway (since washed away) proceeded to a hexagonal deck set within the dunes. Asher revisited his design for new owners in 1980, joining the north and south-facing decks. He also inserted something akin to a hair toss at the northwest paraboloid, adding headroom to the kitchen. Current residents Bob Tortora and Angelo DeSanto have painstakingly restored the home in recent years.

1st 2 photos: Darren Bradley. Last photo: Leonard Dell. All others: Courtesy Pater Asher.

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