Lambert Beach House

A pioneering house established an enduring benchmark for modernist design on Fire Island.

The Lambert house was first house ever built on the dunes on Lonelyville, a once remote area of the western end of Fire Island, and Richard Meier’s pioneering design has had a profound influence on subsequent residential design in the area for more than half a century.

The house was conceived in the greatest simplicity as an assembly of precut timber elements, which were organized into a rigorously simple composition of five structural bays. The house is open on both sides and incorporates the large glass panels and expansive decks that would become hallmarks of Meier’s residential design, allowing panoramic views of both the Atlantic Ocean and the Great South Bay. 

The house was constructed by a team of six in only nine days, using lumber precut in Michigan and transported to Long Island by truck. This rapid construction was enabled by Meier’s design of a system-and-grooved solid lumber panels for the walls, which replaced conventional stud wall construction.