Cocoon House

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An imaginative, unique house design that puts sustainable architecture in a whole new light.

Built in a serene landscape in Long Island, NY, the LEED-certified Cocoon House redefines the concept of “sustainable design” with imaginative architecture that brings sunshine into living spaces in an inspired way. Architect and designer Nina Edwards Anker, founder of nea studio, designed the dwelling for her own family. The structure stands out instantly with its unique house design. It boasts curved walls on a cocoon-like facade that provides privacy and seclusion from the neighboring houses. The architect chose cedar shingles for the closed facade as a nod to the material palette of this historic neighborhood. While the northern and western sides feature wooden cladding, the southern side boasts glazed walls and glass sliding doors that open the interior to the garden and the ocean breeze.

Informed by the local legal restrictions, the 1730-square-foot house has an L-shaped footprint and sits at a 150-foot radius from the nearby wetlands and 35-feet from the neighboring houses. Colored skylights filter the sunlight and transform the living spaces in various ways. Inspired by Goethe’s color theory, the skylights have carefully chosen colors in different areas of the house. For example, the bright yellow in the living room signifies activity. In the master bedroom, the warm orange and deep red colors symbolize the sunset and rest. A triangular skylight acts like a solar clock, highlighting the diurnal cycles with changing colors. The pool on the property’s southern side also contributes to the play of light and color throughout the day. And the result? A tranquil living space finely tuned to nature’s rhythms.

Throughout the interior, the furniture and lighting mirror both the unique house design and the concept behind Cocoon House. Nina Edwards Anker designed many of these pieces. They include the plush sofa, chandelier with photovoltaic modules, and curved rattan seating suitable for both indoor and outdoor use.

Cocoon House also pays homage to nature with a sustainable build that includes an eco-friendly timber structure and photovoltaic panels. Passive heating and cooling strategies include using the south-facing glass facade to regulate the temperature of the living spaces. During the winter months, the glass surface collects the heat from the sun, while throughout the warmer months, interior shades reduce the solar heat gain. The inhabitants can slide these doors open to enjoy the summery ocean breeze and to also feel closer to nature. Photographs© Caylon Hackwith, nea studio.

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