The A-frame. It’s not the prettiest design in the world, but functional yes, and also fairly universal. Cultures in Europe, China and the South Pacific all built A-frames, no doubt thanks to the ease of construction. And, for the same reason, the design has endured.
One of the most notable builds, at least in the U.S. is the Elizabeth Reese House on Long Island. Designed by Andrew Geller “Architect of Happiness”, the Reese House was written up in the Times and helped spur somewhat of a renaissance in A-frames. It’s easy to see why.
The open floorpan and windows make for a sort of ideal beach house layout, especially if they "A" is aimed to the sea.
Geller’s Reese house was quintessential beach shack design. With a 13 by 22 foot living room, it was far from the ostentatious houses that occupy much of Long Island now. Like the modern beach shacks built on Cape Cod in the mid 1900s, there was a mass appreciation for the simple that doesn’t exist today.
But that doesn’t mean the A-frame has been abandoned. Look at this A-frame on Fire Island that Bromley Caldari designed, or “completed.” It’s sort of the perfect throwback updated with some amazing contemporary design. That pool and deck? Yes.
Without a doubt though, the most appealing A-frame has to be Jen Risom’s Block Island beauty, which was featured in Life Magazine in 1967.
Written up and photographed many times over, there’s a lot of people who would give a digit or two to call this place home, including myself. Classic, timeless and simple, it’s proof that the A-frame will always be in style.