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  1. ArchDaily
  2. Projects
  3. Houses
  4. United States
  5. Gluck+
  6. 2012
  7. The Tower House / Gluck+

The Tower House / Gluck+

  • 01:00 - 18 July, 2013
The Tower House / Gluck+
The Tower House / Gluck+, © Paul Warchol
© Paul Warchol

© Paul Warchol Courtesy of Gluck+ © Paul Warchol © Paul Warchol +23

  • Architects

  • Location

    Upstate, New York, United States
  • Project Team

    Peter L. Gluck, Thomas Gluck, David Hecht, Marisa Kolodny, A.B. Moburg-Davis
  • Area

    2545.0 ft2
  • Project Year

  • Photographs

  • Structural Engineer

    Robert Silman Associates P.C.
  • Mechanical Engineer

    IBC Engineering Services Inc.
  • Façade

    Forst Consulting Co., Inc.
  • Environmental Engineer

    IBC Engineering Services Inc.
  • Lighting

    Lux Populi
  • More SpecsLess Specs

From the architect. This small vacation house is designed as a stairway to the treetops. Keeping the footprint to a minimum so as not to disturb the wooded site, each of the first three floors has only one small bedroom and bath, each a tiny private suite. The top floor, which contains the living spaces, spreads out from the tower like the surrounding forest canopy, providing views of the lake and mountains in the distance. An outdoor roof terrace deck above extends the living space above the treetops, offering a stunning lookout to the long view. The glass-enclosed stair also highlights the procession from forest floor to treetop aerie, while the dark green, back-painted glass exterior camouflages the house by reflecting the surrounding woods, de-materializing its form. At dusk, mini lights dotting the cable rail of the stair mimic local fireflies sparkling in the woods as day turns to dark.

© Paul Warchol
© Paul Warchol
Courtesy of Gluck+
Courtesy of Gluck+

As a vacation home, the Tower House is used during a few weekends in the winter and most weekends in the summer. The design imperative was to develop a sustainable, energy efficient solution with minimal operating costs and maintenance for a house occupied part-time. The stacked north-facing bedrooms take advantage of light and views with floor to ceiling glass. In order to optimize energy savings for heating and cooling in this part-time residence, a two part sustainable strategy was employed to reduce the heating footprint of the house in the winter and to avoid the need for air conditioning in the summer.

© Paul Warchol
© Paul Warchol
Courtesy of Gluck+
Courtesy of Gluck+

Courtesy of Gluck+ Courtesy of Gluck+ Courtesy of Gluck+ Courtesy of Gluck+ +23

While the house is heated conventionally, by compressing and stacking all of the wet zones of the house into an insulated central core, much of the house can be “turned off” in the winter when not in use. When not in use, only 700 square feet of the 2,545 square foot house is heated. By closing the building down to only the insulated core, there is a 49% reduction in energy use. In the summertime, the house feels comfortable without air conditioning. Cool air is drawn in and through the house using the stack effect. South-facing glass throughout the stairwell creates a solar chimney and as the heated air rises, it is exhausted out the top,drawing in fresh air through the house from the cooler north side.

© Paul Warchol
© Paul Warchol
Cite: "The Tower House / Gluck+" 18 Jul 2013. ArchDaily. Accessed . <>
Read comments


RexSeven · April 11, 2016

Very cool design. I bet the birds love it... Cats sit at the bottom and await the bounty that drops from the sky.

Jaap Purmerend · November 10, 2013

2 uurtjes zoeken! 41°55'19.85"N 74°14'28.81"W

Tbui · August 09, 2013

I would say its better if elevator is added.

Jakob · July 19, 2013

für green?
Gruß Heide

MarcioB · July 19, 2013

not a horrible project in my opinio... but also in my opinio the choice of materials is completely out of any context of the surroundings... looks like a small shopping mall inside a forest! very poor choice of materials I would say... but who knows, maybe the clients wanted it like that!...

LAc · July 19, 2013

Upstate, NY isn't a location anyway.

Herman · July 18, 2013

Listed Location of project - Upstate, NY

What the map shows... Upstate Medical Hospital in Syracuse, NY

Get it together AD...afterall you're the "most visited online arch publication"

Croco Dile · July 18, 2013

Great view !


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© Paul Warchol

塔式度假别墅 / Gluck+