When a New York couple – she’s an arts entrepreneur; he’s a high school counselor – bought 15 waterfront acres on the North Fork of Long Island, they envisioned a single-story house with outdoor access from every room. But their architect, Bill Ryall of Ryall Sheridan Architects, wanted to protect the house from the next Sandy-like storm and to give the couple expansive views of nearby waterways and islands. “So I ordered a 12-foot ladder from the hardware store and had it delivered to the site,” says Ryall. When his clients climbed up and saw the newly revealed vistas, they were, as the husband puts it, “blown away.” They gave him the go-ahead to raise much of the house on stilts.
The elevated structure was built using European passive-house techniques.