Combining landscape restoration with the client’s desire for a robust domestic landscape program was one of many challenges for this summer residence located on the barrier island below the Village of Southampton. The 4.5-acre site included the remnants of a dunescape – much of which had been compromised and eroded from storms and flooding. Sawyer|Berson’s restored and bolstered the site’s native dunescape while also creating ecologically responsible gardens and recreational spaces through a series of gradients.
The contemporary residence and landscape were completed in 2019 and employ native plantings, subtly undulating landforms, and material textures and colors to evoke a weathered driftwood aesthetic. As part of the dunescape restoration, approximately 6,700 cubic yards of sand was utilized to elevate the dune by ten feet on average, and more than 25,000 plugs of American beachgrass (Ammophila breviligulata) were planted to stabilize the dune. Additionally, native shrub plantings including bayberry, beach plum and beach heather further complement the dunescape, providing a more diverse ecological environment. An elevated boardwalk bridges over the dune, demarcating the shift in topography and providing access to the beach.
Close collaboration with in-house architects informed optimum siting for the residence. The ocean side of the residence features a thoughtfully furnished limestone pool terrace suitable for a varied array of social interactions. The home’s land-ward side includes a motor court, parking court and drive surfaced with local crushed gravel over a permeable base, as lush plantings of native trees, shrubs and perennials create a sustainable coastal garden. At the property’s front, a pavilion and clay-surfaced tennis court sit at the site’s lowest elevation, screened from view with plantings.
This project met the myriad of requirements set by zoning and environmental agencies alongside the latest FEMA base flood elevation for structures. The resulting project responds to climate resilience, restores the site’s unique ‘barrier island’ landscape character and offers a robust pollinator habitat honoring the regions agricultural heritage. The landscape’s longevity is maintained through a toxin-free environment, supporting the designed habitat and attracting regional and migratory species including the annual migration of monarch butterflies. Design decisions guided by the amplification of the site’s dormant features, and the client’s programmatic requirements and aesthetic desires, resulted in a landscape that enhances the site’s native ecology and cinematic view of the dunescape and ocean beyond.
This Garden Dialogue will be led by J. Brian Sawyer, FASLA.
1.5 LA CES™ professional development hours will be available to attendees.
Cancellations and Refunds will be granted according to the following schedule:
Up to two (2) weeks in advance: 50% (Deduction represents administrative processing fees)
No refunds will be made for cancellations thirteen (13) days prior to event
No refunds will be made for “No Shows” (a person who registers for a program but who does not cancel registration or attend the program).
Refunds will be processed as they are received or after the conclusion of the program, depending on the program date and when cancellation occurs. Refunds may take five (5) to seven (7) business days to process.