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First of the "Houses at Sagaponac" Completed

Images Courtesy The Corcoran Group

In one of the country’s most fashionable vacation spots - the Hamptons - developer Harry Coco Brown has completed the first house of his development, Houses at Sagaponac and placed it on the market for $3 million.

The architects and sisters, Gisue Hariri and Mojgan Hariri designed the four-bedroom, wood-framed structure in a classic modernist style. A cantilevered ramp leads to two elevated rectangular box volumes with grayish cedar siding that form an L-shape around a large swimming pool. A 2.7-acre wooded lot provides privacy to a sleek house that otherwise exhibits openness. Substantial exterior sections are made of floor to ceiling windows. Bathroom walls are frosted glass and their interior surfaces made of brightly colored translucent glass tiles.

The Hariri house is one of 34 architecturally distinctive vacation homes that were each designed by big name architects that Brown hired with the help of his friend Richard Meier. Three other houses currently under construction are due to be finished by the end of the year. One Buddhist-style structure designed by Harry Cobb, , has separate pavilions inside a courtyard linked by a columned passageway with 108 louvered doors made of teak. Another by the architect Shigeru Ban that will be surrounded by a small forest of 12-foot high bamboo is distinguished by structural supports that are made from cabinets, bookcases, and other furniture.

A former head of development for 20th Century Fox, Brown put together his development on an approximately 120-acre failed subdivision he bought a decade ago and that today is one of the largest unbuilt developed parcels of land in the Hamptons. Brown approached his project like an art film, getting star architects to give him cut rate prices on their designs. Product placement also helped Brown save money and bring construction costs down to approximately $250 a square foot. He says that Viking, Lutron Lighting, and even Sony gave him bargains on their products for the opportunity to be involved in the project, which is even the subject of a glossy book published by Rizzoli.

Brown says his unique development is a reaction against the prevailing style of new construction in the Hamptons, the elaborate shingle style McMansions with manicured lawns, that are fast gobbling up the area’s remaining open space. In contrast, Brown’s houses are set in a densely wooded area. They are moderately scaled, priced by Hamptons standards and eschew ornamentation. The development will have three miles of trails that will connect the properties and an adjacent private park with a community garden. “It’s a response to the new urbanism,” says Brown, “We can have community without having conformity---it won’t be ersatz old fashioned.”

Alex Ulam