Henry Shyer House (now owned by Sean Combs)

East Hampton, New York
1987
Nagel + Lesser Architects

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The Shyer House is a single family vacation house located in East Hampton, New York with a projected construction completion of June, 1989.

The main element of the house is the living-dining pavilion, which through its tall, columned porch, looks at a magnificent view of Gardiner's Bay from a point in a garden landscape set back from the top of a sandy bluff high above the beach.

The other parts of the program - den, guest bedrooms, master bedroom and bath, kitchen and breakfast porch, cabana and garage - are each assigned to one of a series of subsidiary pavilions arrayed across the site to address the view and mark a line of private separation from the street. Each pavilion, having a distinct form, is marked by its own stair or circulation element, its own facade development and its particular position with regard the main element.

This treatment helps to give each pavilion its own personality and associations. The den is a little shed roofed chapel by the sea. The guest bedrooms are a mini housing block twisting away from the main. The master wing (with kitchen and porch under) is its own self-sufficient Weissenhof house. The cabana is a slice of stoa and the garage an elevated pool-side loggia.

But the main element has the main idea. A modern Tidewater mansion, it is the big temple, the highest on the hill. Its Athena is a colored cubist composition of stair, wall, bar and bridge, a bit of Hejduk at the heart. Together with the little pavilions scattered about it but strung together by the blue line of the horizon, this house is a little Pergamon on the Bay.