Inside Celebrity Homes: a Beach House to Relax like Daryl Roth’s – Architect Thierry Despont helped the Tony Award–winning producer transform her forlorn East End residence into a pristine oceanfront hideaway.
Such is the reality of being a busy professional in a city like New York that no matter how much you thrive on your work or the frenetic pace of urban life, there are moments when you want nothing more than to get away from it all. It’s a feeling Daryl Roth knows well. As a Tony Award–winning producer, she regularly spends her days juggling rehearsals, readings, and meetings.
For more than two decades Roth found respite at a weekend home in East Hampton—a house she and her husband still own and frequent with their children and grandchildren. But several years ago the couple began fantasizing about a Robinson Crusoe–style hideaway for just the two of them, albeit one with plenty of creature comforts. As she puts it: “I think what I was looking for was peace.”
They would find it not on a deserted island but rather a short drive farther down the Long Island coast, in a dilapidated 1980s residence on a picture-perfect stretch of seashore. Though the interiors were dated and the layout didn’t work, what the two-story house did offer was unobstructed views of the ocean, a sense of isolation, and immediate proximity to the water.
“It’s right on the sand, and because you’re on the beach and looking forward, you’re not even aware of neighbors,” Roth says. Building codes, however, dictated that any alterations would have to adhere to the existing footprint and envelope—a challenge given the dwelling’s unstable condition and uninspired aesthetic. To help navigate these rocky shoals, the pair turned to the Manhattan-based architect and designer Thierry Despont.
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