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Hamptons Life

Mar 5, 2018 11:43 AMPublication: The East Hampton Press & The Southampton Press

Shelter Island Modernist Marvel Enters Rental Market

179 Ram Island Drive, Shelter Island.  COURTESY SAUNDERS & ASSOCIATES
Mar 5, 2018 2:37 PM

A modernist marvel on Shelter Island by Los Angeles-based architect Roger Bennett is being offered for rent for the first time.

The home at 179 Ram Island Drive fronting Gardiners Bay was built in 2009 on a bluff on Ram Island, which, despite the name, is not a proper island. An isthmus connects Ram Island to the rest of Shelter Island.

The 6,441-square-foot residence on 2.2 acres boasts seven bedrooms, 6.5 bathrooms, a pool and a pool house.

“The home was built in 2009 by owners with modernist leanings who have an affinity for Shelter Island and wanted to build a fun, easy-to-live-in second home that optimizes the Ram Island bluff top site with unobstructed saltwater views on Gardiners Bay,” said Penelope Moore, the listing broker with Saunders & Associates.

A curved, transparent wall made with glass fins overlooks the bay, with no interruption from support beams. “We hired glass vendors who work on commercial projects for this, the first residential application in the U.S. to have 900 square feet of vertical glass, utilizing fins, strengthened glass from the U.K.” Mr. Bennett said.

Mr. Bennett—whose great-great-grandfather Frederick A. Schroeder founded the Shelter Island Heights Association in the late 1800s—further explained in a statement that the curved design was not in his original plans, but the organic result of lot-coverage and setback regulations.

A bridge over the driveway stretches from the house to a 16-ton boulder, which was brought to Shelter Island on the South Ferry from a Bridgehampton quarry.

“A boulder might seem an odd thing to bring here,” Mr. Bennett said, “but throughout Shelter Island there are boulders sitting on land, deposited thousands of years ago by glaciers, so it seemed natural to put it there.”

Once the boulder was delivered at 5:30 a.m., work continued until nearly midnight, he said.

“Getting it to the precise spot took 30 people, all of them tough, strong guys who turned into kids working with a big toy, with smiles all around,” Mr. Bennett recalled. “When it was finally done, there was a great hurrah, clapping, cheering and high fives.”

For the full season, from Memorial Day to Labor Day, rent is $150,000.

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