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A Good Idea?
Peter Sabbeth, admitted that the "greenest thing to do is not to build a new house." The next greenest thing, he stated, was to have the house use less energy. In fairness, the house features geothermal heating and cooling, and solar panels on the roof that will produce 45 percent of the electricity used.This year’s Hamptons Cottages and Gardens Idea House, which concluded its run on August 24, is featured in a 40-page spread in the magazine’s current issue. Located in Sagaponack, New York, the showhouse is a 6,300-square-foot dwelling with a modern addition that doubled the size of the existing 1860’s cottage (which itself was completely reclad and refurbished). At a glance, this is perhaps too large a structure to gain billing as the country’s first green showhouse. The developer,
The idea behind the Idea House had to do with marrying luxury with sustainability, to produce a level of comfort expected in the Hamptons. This is not an altogether unworthy program. Jose Ortega y Gasset proposed long ago that man needs not just to live, but to live well. Still, there is a sense of opportunity not seized if designers fixate on how to make new materials look like luxe traditional materials, or otherwise create an illusion of luxury using recycled or repurposed objects. The problem of sustainability is too urgent to fiddle with while Rome burns oil, and designers need increasingly to engage the possibilities of new or recycled materials, and to question the trickle-down tendencies toward size and opulence.
In the end, though, the Idea House was a breath of fresh air compared to many other designer showhouses, and the visiting public seemed to appreciate the designers’ creative efforts with a range of eco-friendly materials.
Family Room by Campion Platt.
Dining room by Ellen Hanson.
Master bedroom by S. Russell Groves.
Library by Erica Millar.
Clay plaster wall relief, via David Bergman.
Pool house by Tim Button and John Stedila of Stedila Design.