For most buyers of luxury estates in the Hamptons, tennis is a must-have. But tennis courts take up scarce yard space.
In order to provide a highly desirable tennis court—without having to sacrifice on the yard or on the size of the residence—architect Phil Rossillo placed the tennis court on the roof while designing a sizable new house in Water Mill.
The house is currently under construction at 100 Crescent Avenue, a previously vacant lot.
“Part of what we wanted to do there was create the experience—the Hamptons experience—in the house,” Rossillo said.
And it wouldn’t be the Hamptons experience without a stellar tennis court.
“The site is on the water, but there is a considerable wetland buffer,” Rossillo explains. The tennis court would not fit well on the available footprint, and it would not be positioned and oriented properly, north-south.
Many Hamptons houses have partially flat roofs to avoid going over the maximum permitted height, he points out. So why not put a sports surface there?
The court is sunk into the attic space, and screened, so it cannot be seen from the street and there is relief from the sun’s rays. It still has elevated and unobstructed views for those on the court.
“Sun, light and air is a really big part of being out there,” Rossillo observes. He believes homeowners shouldn’t just go between the air conditioning and the pool in the summer, and he designs with that in mind. “Get out and do things and be part of the environment.”
Underneath the tennis court is a poured concrete slab. A complex structure, including steel columns that start at the foundation, supports the weight while also minimizing vibration as players run around.
“It can be a basketball court, it can be a tennis court—it can be anything you want,” Rossillo says. He wanted it to be a multifunctional space, and included a pergola to sit underneath.
The court is easy to access, thanks to an elevator that pops up at roof level.
“It’s a very elaborate structure, a very costly structure,” the architect says. But, he adds, he wasn’t looking at the dollars and cents. Rather, the prestige and presence are what mattered.
Because he did not have to shrink the house to accommodate the tennis court, Rossillo was able to include in the design a number of amenities that are expected in high-end Hamptons real estate, such as a game room, theater and gym. The property also includes an infinity pool attached to a spa.
The tennis court surface has layered rubber, by the same manufacturer the U.S. Open uses.
The builder is John DeVito and the listing agent is Linda Haugevik, of Douglas Elliman Real Estate.
“I’ve never met a builder that is so meticulous about every nail that he puts in a house,” Haugevik says of DeVito. “It’s really wonderful to see.”
She adds that both the builder and architect are young and enthusiastic, and she’s impressed by how hard they work.
The lot size is 2.1 acres and the 13,000-square-foot residence has seven bedrooms and eight and a half baths. The listing price is $21,900,000.