The client's intention was to build Oceana a lot closer to the shore. We were advised we would never get the plan passed if we moved back onto the primary dune. In retrospect, that retreat is part of the success of the building. You not only have the view of the ocean, but you can also see the animals silhouetted against the ocean.

When we started, I put a surveyor in, and he tagged all the trees. Every tree that was thicker than my wrist, he tagged, so we positioned the building by walking among the trees, and lost as few as possible.

The bedrooms bungalows work because of the dynamism of the diagonal. By turning the bed into the corner of the sliding doors, and the doors sliding totally away into the pockets of the walls, on a beautiful evening you have the luxury of feeling like you're sleeping outside on the veranda. But with the fickle wind, the doors can be closed, and the room enclosed by the glass. The wraparound glass in the bathroom lets you sit in the bath, and feel like you're bathing outside.

We have a pool on the north side of the property. The problem of putting the it at the ground level of the patio means it gets little sun, because there's a hill coming down behind it. By raising the pool, we could get a view over the furniture, right out to sea.

The choice of materials: the stone, thatch, and balau decking are ones that can develop a patina as they age, and intensify that interface between buildings and the Bush