Text description provided by the architects. This small house located in the Catskills, NY is designed as a weekend getaway for a family living near New York City. The house sits on 6 acres of land, but is only a little more than 1,000 sq. ft., which is enough to provide a comfortable setting for the family to enjoy the nature of the site. What makes this house unique is the simplicity of the form which is essentially 4 volumes. The three base volumes are all clad in ground faced concrete block inside and outside, and contain the support spaces of the house. The fourth volume is clad in metal and sits on top of the 3 concrete block volumes to enclose the main living space of the house. The oversized mahogany wood windows complete the enclosure between the concrete block volumes.
On the inside, the white metal volume is a raised ceiling in the main space which is finished in plywood with operable skylights at the top. A portion of the plywood is cut into slats with a felt fabric behind to soften the acoustics in an otherwise hard surfaced space. The metal volume also overhangs the large openings providing weather protection and solar shading in the summer. The only utility at the site is electricity, so to provide energy efficient heating, a geothermal heat pump is connected to a 400 ft. well that provides the heat to hydronic radiant tubes cast into the polished concrete floor. In the summer, the geothermal system switches to a ducted system for cooling. The energy efficient mechanical system, along with the roof overhangs that provide shading in the summer and allow solar heat gain in the winter, help make this house very energy efficient. The house is the perfect outpost to explore the site and the natural setting of the Catskills.