525 SNAPPER WALK

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Architect: Unknown. Renovation: HORACE GIFFORD, 1971.

 

At first glance, 525 Snapper Walk appears to be a forgettable beach shack. But its subtle charms, orchestrated in a 1971 renovation by Horace Gifford, soon envelop the visitor. Like his own home across the street, progression is paramount. One steps off the public boardwalk onto a sandy path, a poetic if somewhat impractical means of reconnecting with the landscape. Ascending steps along the side of the house, the Great South Bay soon comes into spectacular relief. Gifford’s terrace is delimited only by knee walls, low benches, or not at all. This quality of boundlessness is further enhanced by the hilly double lot that this tiny two-bedroom home nestles into. Eschewing his usual passion for symmetrical shapes, Gifford reveled in the angular quirkiness of the original cottage. The interior features a prow-shaped living area with a built-in daybed next to a cast-iron fireplace and a beautifully detailed kitchen. Passing tiny bedrooms, a narrow bridge leads to a secret treetop deck, articulated by low benches in the shape of a pinwheel. 

Its new owners understand this house, and have dressed it in Knoll and Nakashima.

Photos: Tom Sibley. Drawing: Horace Gifford courtesy Christopher Rawlins.
 

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