A colonial-era barn, dating to around 1700, is the centerpiece of a Bridgehampton, N.Y., house that blends modern glass curtain walls with historic beams for a uniquely cool home. Listed with Judi Desiderio, Gene Stilwell, and William R. Stoecker at Town & Country Real Estate, the one-of-a-kind property is available for $13.95 million, a substantial cut of nearly $2 million from its initial price in December 2020.
The owners, finance guy Robert Hougie and Michelle Brilliant, a comedian, writer, and actor, purchased the one-acre spread with the existing barn in 2004 for $2.775 million. They then hired architect Nicholas Botta to expand and convert the barn into a casual and sophisticated beach house. Botta embraced the historic barn’s existing structure and added two wings to create a 7,500-square-foot stunner with airy, light-filled living spaces on three levels.
The original wooden barn beams are exposed in the great room’s 25-foot-ceilings, and in contrast to the barn’s rustic architecture are the simple steel fireplace and the thoroughly modern kitchen, with its wall of cherry-red laminate cabinets that not only provide a pop of color but hide most of the appliances. One wall of glass faces north, toward the driveway, while another glass curtain wall on the south side looks out on a 200-year-old beech tree that provides an ever changing landscape and shades the room three seasons a year. There is a long dining table with seating for twelve, and several sitting areas, one in front of the fireplace, and another next to a hidden TV that rises up from the wooden floor.
The main house’s seven bedrooms and eight bathrooms are arranged in two wings accessed via separate staircases. On one side, the homeowner’s suite includes a terrace overlooking the pool and a walk-in closet, while a gym on the second floor of the other wing sports a slanted glass ceiling, making for a cheerful, bright space to put one’s body through grueling exercise routines.
Recreational spaces in the lower level include a home theater, a music room, and a 1,700+ bottle wine cellar. Outside is a heated four-car garage, a covered porch with the same limestone flag flooring used in the modern additions, a sun-dappled swimming pool, a pizza oven and built-in grill near an outdoor dining area.
If the seven bedrooms in the main house are not enough, even more guests can be comfortably accommodated in the two-bedroom and one-bath poolside guest cottage that features a matching curtain wall of glass in the living room the fills the room with natural light. The only problem with some much great space for guests? Getting them to leave!