A Design Duo Finds Inspiration and Creative Community on Fire Island

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Rauchwerger (center) and Dvir (Far right) with regular collaborators Tristan Scow and Liam O’Malley Davy of Gay Gardens (from far left) and Vince Patti of Lesser Miracle (second from right).

Photo: Chris Mottalini

All throughout their projects, materials subscribe to a less-is-more philosophy, channeling the high-tech style of the late 1970s through low-cost industrial and off-the-shelf options. Bathrooms, a BoND calling card, proudly eschew beach-house tropes, opting for tight grids of inexpensive pool tile, Formica vanity tops, and even urinals. “Budget is a huge driver in our projects,” Dvir says. “It pushes us to an aesthetic that is functional, rooted in the Bauhaus, but also a bit locker-room in vibe.”

Improvising is the name of the game on Fire Island, where an aging and idiosyncratic housing stock, coupled with unrelenting weather conditions and the hurdles of ferry deliveries, complicate ordinary construction methods. When the louvered windows of their clients’ 1960s Harry Bates house needed replacing, BoND found that the only known remaining American manufacturer of the postwar staple had closed, forcing them to scour the globe for a new source. “You have to love it,” says Rauchwerger. “You are committed to the island’s future and its past.”

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A 1960s house by Harry Bates, now updated by BoND.

Photo: Chris Mottalini

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The formica-and-stainless-steel vanity is also a prototype with lesser miracle.

Photo: Chris Mottalini

Those ad hoc solutions are a form of sustainability unto themselves, each renovation a road map for Fire Island’s new generation and an opportunity to engage its creative community. “We couldn’t accomplish anything without our collaborators,” says Dvir, referring to Pines habitués such as landscape designer Liam O’Malley Davy of Gay Gardens, who conceived the landscape for their home, and Vince Patti of the furniture studio Lesser Miracle, who has created prototypes for several projects. Those include sapele wood bedside tables with front compartments for sleeping sundries and side-facing niches for discreet toys and tinctures—a balancing act between extroversion and introversion.

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A multifunctional entry upholds Fire Island’s timber vernacular.

Photo: Chris Mottalini

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Its bedrooms feature bespoke wall-mounted side tables designed with Lesser Miracle.

Photo: Chris Mottalini

The firm is now exploring that tension at an architectural scale as they design their first ground-up residence, set on the site of a recent fire. One recent model reveals a rectangular pool, partly exposed and partly concealed, that extends from beneath a volume raised some 20 feet above to protect it against flooding. “It’s Villa Savoye for the Pines,” says Dvir, invoking Le Corbusier’s iconic villa outside Paris. Those, of course, are big footsteps to follow. But just five years into their practice, BoND appreciates the opportunities afforded them to them by the island. “We can really have a voice here—develop theories, test ideas,” Dvir continues. “You are an active participant in a place full of possibility and positivity.” bond-ny.com


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