There are many iconic homes on the East End. One in particular, called Wyndecote — currently on the market for $22 million through Harald Grant at Sotheby’s International Real Estate — has had a complete restorative face-lift by the one and only John David Rose Architect. Rose spoke from his office in Southampton, where he runs his firm with his son, Scott, and a team of dedicated creatives. His conference room filled with huge images of his masterful work, a significant catalog of labor on important homes in the area.
Your firm is located in Southampton. Are you an East End native?
I was born and raised in the Hamptons as was my father, grandfather, and great-grandfather. I am proud to be one of the many generations born and raised here.
Your work has mastered the classic Hamptons aesthetic.
All projects are designed around the client’s needs and tastes, and is site specific. While a large share of our work is shingle style with an emphasis on historic preservation, we are most fortunate to have several major modern structures to our credit.
How did you get started?
Prior to 1994, I was a partner with a structural engineer and learned a lot about concrete, steel, and the forces of gravity. While my partner handled the engineering, I managed the architecture side of the business. In 1994, it was time to go out on my own and the firm has continued to evolve ever since.
Did you always know you wanted to be an architect?
My brother, father, grandfather, and great-grandfather were all builders on eastern Long Island. I was exposed to construction as a young boy. My uncle was an architect, and my dad was optimistic that I would follow in his brother’s footsteps. I still have some of his drawings. It was such a natural thing to do and my family was very supportive.
What qualities do you look for in a builder?
We work with many different builders and occasionally the client already has their builder in place. I will work with almost any builder as long as they do great work, return phone calls, and never leave the job until it is complete with the client fully satisfied. I expect them to be competitively priced, not necessarily the lowest but fairly priced for the quality and complexity of the work being performed. We are not a design/build firm so the builders do not have to be concerned about competition from in-house sources.
There is a certain glamour to your interiors.
When working on landmark buildings, we try to honor the existing interior “fabric” of the home. Naturally, we open up the interior, update the systems, and pay close attention to our clients’ needs and desires. If you pay attention to the details, know your history, and know how the home was originally built, the end result can be truly inspiring. Many of our non-historic projects have a hint of history but have a more modern interior, even when a traditional exterior is designed.
What projects are you currently working on?
We have a very wide variety of projects currently on the boards. Anything from a new 12,000-square-foot construction shingle styled home in Southampton Village to a major renovation of a landmark building in Quogue, as well as a renovation to the club house at a private golf club and even a new 650-square-foot “tiny house” on the North Fork. We welcome all different size and style projects. It keeps things interesting and us more current.
What was your favorite project that you worked on?
That is like asking which of my three sons I love the most. They all have days that one is my favorite over the other, and other days, not so much. Sometimes the people are what make a project a favorite candidate.
Who are your heroes?
My wife and my sons. Without them, you would not be interviewing me today. My family gives me the room to grow, still make mistakes, and they know when to reel me in and humble me out.
What kind of new building materials have you incorporated into the design?
We use super insulation, high-efficiency windows and doors, geothermal heating and cooling systems, and solar panels. Green products and recycled materials are available and new products come out weekly. While it is easy to jump at every new green product, we need to make sure it is going to work in the long run, so we do our homework first.
In what ways are you evolving as an architect?
We have a second office located on Main Street in Westhampton Beach to better service our clients both points west and on the North Fork. In addition to full architectural services, our interior design division is based out of the Westhampton Beach office.
Are you incorporating any trends that you’ve noticed into your recent projects?
We are currently incorporating less traditional interior and exterior finishes and lower maintenance products. We are working on a transitional home, designed for efficiency, low maintenance and a more manageable size and layout. We have people transitioning down from larger, more time-consuming homes, and others who are passionate about having high-quality eco-friendly and practical homes.
When you’re not designing luxury homes, what do you do for fun?
I am a life-long boater, play a mean mediocre game of golf, and when I have the need to get back to basics, you can find me on my tractor at Rosemoor, our horse farm in Jamesport.
To reach Rose or view his portfolio of work, visit www.johndavidrosearchitect.com, or call 631-283-2051.