499 BASS WALK
Architect and date: Unknown. Renovation: ASHKAR AND PAUL, c. 1999.
This charming kit-style home, resembling developer Joseph Eichler’s work in Lucas Valley in northern California, manages to feel at home in Fire Island Pines. Its current owners found it in a forlorn state, with a choppy floor plan and stacks of old belongings. Renovation architects Ashkar and Paul smartly distilled the architecture down to its glass-and-post essence, liberating its floor plan and adding a swimming pool while preserving its razor-thin roofline. Where privacy from the outdoors is desired, the glass simply changes from clear to ribbed, a sleight of hand that is replicated in back-to-back shower enclosures. The craftsmanship is smart but un-fussy. As the architect recalled, “tricky detailing gets you nowhere on Fire Island. You need simple details you can trust the contractor with.” These take the form of a prefinished plywood partition system, connected by exposed bolts, with grooves between the panels to facilitate art hanging. Built-in cubbies made of the same material resolve all storage needs. It adds up to a refreshingly straightforward and affordable home that channels the best tenets of mid-century modernism.
Photos: Catherine Tighe.