When a Friend Asks an Architect to Design His First House

When a friend reached out to emerging architect Matthew Chua, of Chua Architecture, to design his first house, he accepted with nervousness and excitement. Despite not having designed a house before, you’d never know it after looking through the images. The open and airy house, located in Water Mills, New York, beside a tree farm in Southampton, makes a beautiful, modern statement within its green surroundings.

daytime exterior shot of modern two-story black house with swimming pool in front

The promise to minimize impact to site was met by positioning the new home in the exact location as the original one and by retrofitting the existing pool.

daytime exterior shot of modern two-story black house

The residence’s exterior appears all black with an upper volume wrapped in black standing seam zinc, resting atop a series of black stained mahogany and black pigmented concrete walls.

closeup of daytime exterior shot of modern two-story black house

closeup exterior shot of modern two-story black house

daytime exterior shot of modern two-story black house

daytime closeup exterior shot of modern two-story black house

daytime exterior side shot of modern two-story black house with swimming pool

daytime exterior side shot of modern two-story black house with swimming pool

daytime exterior side shot of modern two-story black house with swimming pool

On the back of the house, two structural beams had to be installed in order to create the cantilevered balcony without columns. The balcony offers unobstructed south-facing views of the property.

interior photo of modern home's all-black kitchen

The all-black, custom kitchen is both sleek and minimalist, outfitted with Gaggenau fixtures. The area has direct access to the backyard and when the sliding glass doors are open, the spaces become perfect for entertaining.

interior photo of modern home's all-black kitchen and large dining room table

interior shot of modern living room with double-height ceiling with glass front balcony

The kitchen and dining room are connected to the double-height living room, also with seamless access to the back patio. Built over the wooden staircase with its smooth, hand-carved handrail is a skylight that fills the center of the home with natural light as it changes throughout the day.

interior view of modern living room with double height ceiling

interior view of modern living room with double height ceiling

interior view of lower level modern tv watching and sitting room

Thanks to the uneven site, they were able to include a walk-in basement full of natural light.

interior view of lower level modern tv watching and sitting room

interior view of modern house in upper corner with glass windows on two sides with black lounge chair in front

On the top floor, the main bedroom features a corner of floor-to-ceiling windows with views that can be taken in from the bed.

minimalist beige bedroom with large windows

minimalist modern bathroom in neutral shades

upstairs sitting area of modern hoe with camel colored modular sofa and floor-to-ceiling windows with views

all black living room in modern house

view into small all-black bathroom

angled view of modern kids room with bunk beds

modern bathroom with tiles in a gradient that goes from black to white

all black minimalist bathroom with shower

view of modern bedroom with half shot of bed and side table

view of modern bedroom with large window

Architecture: Chua Architecture
Interior Design: Gregory Rockwell
Stylist: Rebecca Bartoshesky
Photos: Eric Petschek 

Caroline Williamson is Editorial Director of Design Milk. She has a BFA in photography from SCAD and can usually be found searching for vintage wares, doing New York Times crossword puzzles in pen, or reworking playlists on Spotify.

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