Long Island, NY 2023
This 500 square foot eco starter home by Shinnecock Bay picks up on local cultural traditions of gathering around the heated rocks of the historic wigwam's central hearth. Called ‘Threshold House,’ the home aims to reignite the connection of the traditional Shinnecock fishing community to the water. The central hanging fireplace with heated rocks underneath recalls the heated rocks underneath the central chimneys of the historic wigwams on the reserve. The seamstresses of the regalia of the pow wow handcraft the chandelier of illuminated feathers and wampum shells. The house is made of a flexible system that’s designed to double in size to accommodate growth.
This new construction is supported entirely by timber structure. It is shaped by the restriction to build keeping distance from the wetlands of Shinnecock Bay while also capturing water views and breezes. The house provides a threshold for the community to access the water for gatherings around the central hearth. The thermal mass of the thick northern and western walls keep away humidity and retain heat while providing privacy. The patio doors connect inhabitants with the smells, feel and sounds of the bay. In a structure that partakes in the natural landscape, a comfortable temperature is primarily achieved through passive strategies.
Nina Edwards Anker