Text description provided by the architects. Designed to fit the site’s landscape and blend with the local architectural vernacular, three structures on a 75-acre lot in Columbia County, New York, resolve contradictions to provide a home for a young family of four. The main house includes two garages, seven bedrooms, four living areas yet feels like an intimate home. A balcony connecting the bedrooms overlooks a double-height living and dining area, giving the owners a view of the whole house, which greatly contributes to the feeling of intimacy. Compromised of two volumes, a rectangular wood-sided volume intersects a shingled pitched roof structure.
The former contains a large garage, guest bedrooms, and a playroom and can be closed off when not in use from the shingled structure, which contains the family bedrooms and main living spaces. The entry to a screened porch lies on axis with the entry hallway, with sweeping views across the valley to one side. A covered outdoor terrace overlooks the pool and provides a panoramic view unobstructed by columns.
Stone steps lead down to a long pool and continue into the pool, reminiscent of ancient step-wells found in India. A separate guest house for long term visitors is limited to 900 sq.ft by local zoning ordinances but contains two bedrooms, a living/dining/kitchen area, and a large wrapping screen porch nestled in trees with a view and within earshot of the river that borders the property.
A barn is loaded in another meadow on the property and creates spaces for activities in inclement weather, and holds a large PV solar array. The compound uses geothermal energy for heating and cooling, with efficient heat pumps that greatly reduce the need for fossil fuel energy.