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  4. United States
  5. Thomas Phifer and Partners
  6. 2010
  7. Millbrook House / Thomas Phifer

Millbrook House / Thomas Phifer

  • 01:00 - 26 September, 2010
Millbrook House / Thomas Phifer
Millbrook House / Thomas Phifer, © Scott Frances
© Scott Frances

© Scott Frances © Scott Frances © Scott Frances © Scott Frances +15

  • Location

    Millbrook, NY, United States
  • Architect

    Thomas Phifer
  • Project Architect

    Andrew Mazor
  • Project Team

    Len Lopate, Joseph Sevene, Andrew Deibel
  • Project Manager

    Stephen Dayton
  • Structural Engineering

    Weidlinger Associates, Inc.
  • Lighting Designer

    Fisher Marantz Stone
  • General Contractor

    Robert Bump Construction
  • Area

    6600.0 ft2
  • Project Year

    2010
  • Photographs

From the architect. The journey of arrival at the Millbrook House is an unhurried ascent, focused on experiencing and re-experiencing the land. On this 200-acre site, an architecture of discrete geometric objects set within a heroic landscape choreographs the route, mediating an unfolding sequence of thresholds and views. Up a rambling drive, through a forest to a small, gravel car park, the approach shifts to a footpath, rising along a hill’s ridge. In spirit, the progression recalls the seemingly meandering, yet deftly orchestrated path to an Ancient Greek temple, engaging the visitor with a landscape held even more sacred than the building itself.

© Scott Frances
© Scott Frances

At Millbrook, the first glimpse of built form is a cantilevered, weathering-steel box, the guesthouse, hovering over an edge of the car park. Deep red, patinated steel panels form a retaining wall, extending from beneath the studio straight up hill, rising with the regular rhythm of metal plates beside bluestone treads, set into the slope like stepping stones on a pool of water.

© Scott Frances
© Scott Frances

The ascent reaches the hill’s crest, a grassy promontory, flanked by a rectangular glass pavilion along one side and, on the opposite edge, a series of four low, mahogany-sheathed volumes—as pure and distilled in their geometric repetition as a Minimalist sculpture. This arrangement around the clearing frames long, perspectival views of the Hudson Valley, reminiscent of the vista-capturing gestures of Thomas Jefferson’s University of Virginia and Louis Kahn’s Salk Institute.

© Scott Frances
© Scott Frances

The glass pavilion at Millbrook sits so lightly and with such transparency that its floor seems to flow uninterrupted from the surrounding carpet of lawn. Once you’ve crossed the threshold, into the living-dining-kitchen space, full panoramic views open up, dramatically and in all directions.

© Scott Frances
© Scott Frances

This clear volume plays against the wood-clad monoliths, windowless from the approach, their opaque, mahogany shells echoing the rich, earthy hues of the weathered steel. Though seemingly freestanding, the pavilion and its wood counterparts all connect indoors, beneath the grassy precinct. Each mahogany box, partially embedded in the sloping terrain, forms a private cabin for sleeping and bathing, entered one level below the glass pavilion. As if emerging from the earth, these high-ceilinged cabins have an intimate rapport with the landscape. In counterpoint to the visually expansive hilltop perch, they open only eastward, to the morning sun, each to its own bamboo garden and the meadows beyond.

© Scott Frances
© Scott Frances

Your perception of the house and site evolve: not simply as you cross the land, but also as you move through the interior, from grand communal to quieter private zones. Outside, the experience crescendos as you crest the hill and step across the high lawn. But only when you venture into the glass pavilion does the journey reach its climax, from contained space opening to the vastness of the landscape.

© Scott Frances
© Scott Frances
Cite: "Millbrook House / Thomas Phifer" 26 Sep 2010. ArchDaily. Accessed . <http://www.archdaily.com/79028/millbrook-house-thomas-phifer/>
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33 Comments

Noah Champion Buck · July 17, 2011

The #treehouse had a hornet&#39s nest. I&#39ve been relegated to this dump: http://t.co/aO46cAT #ChampionLuck

mmmh... · April 29, 2011

Millbrook House / Thomas Phifer | http://t.co/VYZFBXW

Charles · September 30, 2010

It's nothing like RCR's... space and ambiance are very different.

What's the point of pointing out the few similar components (in tis case, the outlines) of both projects ? "box" "corten" "green hill side"...Is that all there is ? I find it beautifull, it seems well made, coherent, etc ... I'd love to spend some time here. That's enough for me.

@CopyPaste

What's the color, material and shape of your pants ? Don't tell me your wear blue jeans and that you've got two legs ! 'Cause I've seen that before !

teKtoN studios · September 30, 2010

sa-weet tweet: Millbrook House / Thomas Phifer | ArchDaily http://t.co/tq1qwTA via @archdaily

Michael Baugus · September 29, 2010

Millbrook House / Thomas Phifer | ArchDaily http://bit.ly/d01tDB

CopyPaste · September 28, 2010

serious, the first thing that came to my mind as i saw this was "oh, i did see this before." Couple of Cortenboxes on Green facing down a hill.
Come on.

Nika Volkova · September 28, 2010

Millbrook House / Thomas Phifer | ArchDaily http://t.co/FZgzSr6 via @archdaily

o0 · September 28, 2010

Architecture: Millbrook House by Thomas Phifer [Pictures] - http://bit.ly/ded1i6 (via @archdaily) #design #architecture

Nicholas Patten · September 28, 2010

Millbrook House. http://bit.ly/cZBEmw

langer · September 28, 2010

come on dang...your comment is at best ill informed and off base. go back to bed, now.

Ray Daddazio · September 28, 2010

Millbrook House / Thomas Phifer | ArchDaily http://t.co/0WuI3dy via @archdaily

André Amaral · September 28, 2010

Millbrook House / Thomas Phifer | ArchDaily http://t.co/76IZW9B via @archdaily

adruff · September 27, 2010

plus phifer designed that house in 1999. its been complete since 2002. just sayin. maybe the riff went the other way?

Scott @ Cube Studio · September 27, 2010

Millbrook House / Thomas Phifer | ArchDaily: Architect: Thomas Phifer Location: Millbrook, NY, ... http://bit.ly/cpe20L http://www.cubestudio.info

Painel Tintas · September 27, 2010

Millbrook House / Thomas Phifer | ArchDaily http://t.co/1C57GiJ via @archdaily

RFive · September 27, 2010

Millbrook House / Thomas Phifer http://archdai.ly/a5eLVa #architecture...interesante propuesta de Conj. Hab., que diferencia !!!

Peter Newton · September 27, 2010

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CENTIMETERCUBE · September 27, 2010

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arhitectura · September 27, 2010

Millbrook House / Thomas Phifer: © Scott FrancesArchitect: Thomas Phifer Location: Millbrook, NY, USA Projec... http://tinyurl.com/2eal8mk

Vidmantas Nuolaida · September 27, 2010

Argi ne gražu? :) http://fb.me/JXSFPECO

up_today_arch · September 27, 2010

Nice puristic architecture... Maybe examples exist... But this is good project

elly bell · September 27, 2010

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Architekt R V Scholz · September 27, 2010

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Barry Maguire · September 27, 2010

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Architecture+Molding · September 27, 2010

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stephen varady · September 27, 2010

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GR2TF · September 27, 2010

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Vincent B. · September 27, 2010

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DEZIGN · September 27, 2010

Millbrook House / Thomas Phifer: © Scott FrancesArchitect: Thomas Phifer Location: Millbrook, NY, USA Project Mana... http://bit.ly/bdLrlZ

Bocetos Digitales · September 27, 2010

Millbrook House / Thomas Phifer: © Scott FrancesArchitect: Thomas Phifer Location: Millbrook, NY, USA Project Mana... http://bit.ly/cbfqC2

dang · September 27, 2010

um, RCR's casa rural?

dang · September 27, 2010

riff on RCR's casa rural?!?

Kris · September 27, 2010 10:05 PM

Clearly a riff on Fay Jones. I mean, look how they used WOOD!

Seriously, materials do not make a copy. And Precedent is not a four-letter word. If anything, architecture which has some footing in precedent makes it more intriguing....more so than the wadded up Kleenex wrought by soulless parametric exercises.

MIESOSOUP · September 27, 2010 08:13 PM

listen dang! just because a project has several monolithic pieces all facing the same direction and coreten steel on the side does not make it a riff on another project that looks the same. its not like these guys were like "OH i have no idea what to do here let me flip through an RCR el croquis OH look casa rural lets do exactly what they did"

...WRONG !

...WRONG !

those pieces are not even the main part of the house and could it just so happen that there are 2 projects in the world influenced by similar site forces??

···

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