- Mechanical Engineer: Gabor Szakai
- Project Architect: Lindsay Kunz
- City: Croton-on-Hudson
- Country: United States
Text description provided by the architects. After living in Manhattan for decades, the owners – a couple nearing retirement – sought to trade the confines of city living for a site with sweeping views of the Hudson River. They wanted a compact home that was as extraordinary as the vista it offered, equipped with just enough space for two. The houseis lifted high in the air to enhance views, with storage spaces and an outdoor recreational zone below.
The living space is open and airy – fitting for a house floating in the trees. A long kitchen island and low cabinetry near the built-in banquette provide ample storage while maintaining sight lines to the landscape. The master suite has built-in wardrobes flanking either side in lieu of a master closet to maximize space. The built-in bed conceals a TV on a lift mechanism, so it can be hidden when not in use, preserving the view through the full height windows. With the bath open to the bedroom, the couple can get glimpses of the water from the vanity.
The home office, serving as a threshold to the guest bedroom, offers additional views when seated at the built-in desk. A covered central deck, enclosed on three sides, can transform into a seasonal outdoor room with a firepit and drop-down insect screens. The guest room features a murphy bed, so it can be used as additional living space when unoccupied. Below, a long lap pool and deck provide shade while exercising or lounging in the water.
The site is entered via a winding gravel drive through meadow grasses and lilacs up to a framed view of the Hudson River through the carport. The lightness and reflectivity of the façade enhance the reading of a hovering volume in the sky, resting on just a few thin steel columns. Metal panels on the underside bounce light and reflections from the pool water below.
From the approach, the house utilizes daylight but maintains privacy by means of clerestory windows. The slatted ipe volume contains vertical circulation to the main level. Located on one of Croton-on-Hudson’s highest overlooks, the house was conceived around maximizing panoramic views of the town and river below via floor-to-ceiling windows across the facade.
When needed, operable windows are utilized for cross ventilation from the river breezes, reducing the mechanical load. In addition, solar panels are arrayed across the entire roof of the house. As requested by the owner, an elevator accompanies the stair to the raised main level to enable the couple to live comfortably in the house as they age in place.
The exterior materials were chosen for durability and longevity - metal paneling, untreated ipe, and pvc - guaranteeing that minimal maintenance is required. The interior palette of white oak and light grey provides a muted backdrop to highlight select pieces from the owner’s pottery collection. The Hudson River House’s simple form, extensive glazing, and subdued material palette reinforce the project’s initial goal - prioritizing the stunning natural landscape.