A Modernist Concrete-and-Reclaimed-Wood Long Island Home


Modern Neutral Powder Room with Salvaged Beam

In a small powder room, a salvaged beam echoes the shape of the room’s tall, narrow window and provides the support for a custom vanity by Narofsky Architecture. The sink and faucet are from Porcelanosa.

Modern Neutral Bathroom with Outdoor Shower

The master bathroom’s Lea Ceramiche porcelain tile is from Stone Source; coupled with a grand soaking tub from Porcelanosa, it creates a spa- like sensibility. Moisture-resistant black locust trees that were salvaged from the property were milled and used to create the floor and walls for the outdoor shower, also by Porcelanosa.

Modern Neutral Exterior with Wood Siding

Overlooking the green expanse of lawn is a large balcony with an aluminum railing and a hand cap made of black locust wood. The sloping property includes a bamboo grove and a walking trail leading through the woods.

Modern Neutral Rear Elevation with Courtyard

On the bright and sunny courtyard side of the house, a polycarbonate system by CPI Daylighting filters the sunlight and appears to glow from within at night. Loewen’s aluminum- clad-over-wood windows from North Shore Window & Door fill more than sixty percent of the home’s façade.

Modern Neutral Kitchen with Corian Countertops

A gleaming new kitchen from Eggersmann features a mix of base cabinets clad in an embossed-melamine veneer and upper cabinetry in white laminate that echoes the Corian countertops. The wood-burning pizza oven is by Forno Bravo, the hood is from Miele, and the chrome sink faucet is by Porcelanosa.

Modern Neutral Dining Room with Vintage Chairs

Although paired with a set of vintage chairs, the dining table is a new piece that was designed by Narofsky Architecture and made by carpenters during construction using a steel i-beam and wood milled from oak trees that were cleared from the site. Above the table is one of several sound-absorbing PEPP panels.

Modern Neutral Front Elevation with Multiple Balconies

The modern home has four balconies plus a courtyard, which ensure a seamless flow between inside and out. The structure was built from poured concrete with vertical siding from wood milled from black locust trees felled during Hurricane Irene. The roof is a liquid-applied roofing system by Kemper System.

Modern Neutral Sitting Area with African Stool

A black leather Lepere chair with a painted-red base is paired with a vintage African stool in front of the fireplace. An ornate gold antique mirror from the owners’ collection juxtaposes both the mottled-concrete walls and the custom mantel by Narofsky Architecture that was made from wood discovered on the site during construction.

Modern Neutral Living Area with Custom Sofa

Separating the main living area from the sunken seating nest that overlooks the forested yard is a modular bookshelf made from pin oaks that were removed from the property. To reinforce the connection to the exterior, a custom sofa and matching loveseat covered in gray leather by Spinneybeck was designed by Ways2Design to resemble boulders.

Modern Neutral Exterior with Expansive Lawn

A modernist concrete home clad with reclaimed wood milled from black locust trees that grew on the site before being felled during Hurricane Irene.

For Tod and Bonnie Greenfield, commissioning a home designed specifically for them and their two teenage daughters just made sense. After all, Tod runs the family company, martin greenfield clothiers, which for decades has been tailoring bespoke suits for U.S. presidents, pop stars and hit cable television shows. So when the couple decided they wanted a home that would need less maintenance than their aging 1960s-era split-level, they called on architect Stuart Narofsky to build anew. “The original house needed a lot of repair work, and so we chose to start from scratch instead of renovating what we had,” Tod explains, noting that the original abode’s wooden shingles needed to be scraped and painted regularly. “We couldn’t find any place that we liked better than our special piece of land, so we opted to just knock our house down and start over.”

The result is a modernist concrete home clad with reclaimed wood milled from black locust trees that grew on the site before being felled during Hurricane Irene. “Right from the beginning, Stuart was interested in creating a kind of pathway that wound around a central courtyard with a series of almost pavilion-like rooms that were building up as they spiraled around,” explains architect John DeFazio, who assisted during the initial planning stages. In fact, the J-shaped home literally straddles a dip in the landscape, allowing the lawn to pass underneath the building. “The landscape actually moves through the house,” explains Narofsky, whose firm handled not only the architectural plans but also the construction and interior design.

According to structural engineer Nat Oppenheimer, of Silman, using concrete to build a home is more complicated than using it in more typical commercial designs. “The column grid and layout were predicated almost entirely on walls and partitions inside the house rather than the usual, simpler structural grid,” he explains. “Because of this, we had to be very conscious of the size, layout and profile of the concrete.” to minimize the impact of the construction on the land, landscape architect Jeff Dragan transplanted many of the plant material, including English oak, Japanese umbrella pine and Colorado blue spruce trees, as well as a variety of shrubs, to a temporary nursery. “We moved the material and then put it back after construction,” Dragan explains. “The house didn’t need a lot of foundation planting or accents.”

Indeed, because nearly every room has direct access to the rolling green lawn, the house seems to be part of the landscape. To bring the sunshine inside, the courtyard side of the house was clad in a translucent polycarbonate panel, which floods the home with daylight. In the evening, the panel is illuminated from the inside, which creates
a warm glow in the courtyard. “The house is full of discoveries,” Narofsky says.

In places where drywall would ordinarily be, Narofsky either exposed the rough concrete surface, which was poured into wood forms that lend the surface an organic appearance, or he covered it with custom MDF panels that had been screwed onto oak framing. “We expressed the oak framing rather than hiding it,” Narofsky notes. “It became a real arts-and-crafts endeavor.”

In fact, nearly every railing, bench and vanity in the home was built using wood salvaged from the property. “We had to figure out what we had to work with and how to implement that in the house as we went along, all while making it a luxury home that’s super-functional,” explains interior designer Katrina Hermann, who worked alongside interior designer Jennifer Rusch. “As you go through the house, you see all these interesting elements, which come either from the deep recesses of our brains or from the backyard.”

To contrast the reclaimed wood, mottled concrete and other organic elements, the designers took special care to create other, more decorated areas. “We tried to find places in the home that we could kind of polish for bonnie and achieve that high level of design within this deconstructed atmosphere,” says Rusch. In the kitchen, for example, sleek counter surfaces—white Corian for the island and stainless steel for the perimeter—complement contemporary cabinetry from Eggersmann. “We felt that the kitchen should be this sort of glamorous, smooth and seamless millwork masterpiece,” Rusch adds.

The living room was furnished with oversize sofas that were designed to resemble large boulders coming out of the ground. “We upholstered them in raw cut buffalo hide and let the natural cuts define where the seams were going to be,” Hermann explains. “While they look very rigid, they are actually very comfortable and seat a lot of people.”

Narofsky’s favorite spot in the house is a sunken seating pit surrounded by floor-to-ceiling windows that look out onto the forested backyard. “You step down into it and you’re hovering off the corner of the house,” he says, noting that it was inspired by the iconic 50s-era Eero Saarinen-designed miller house in Indiana. A custom bookshelf creates a sense of separation between the nest and nearby living room. “I put the nest in the prime viewing spot of the property,” he says, “and it’s the most wonderful place to sit. Whenever
 I visit the house, I’m just in awe.”