New York, NY
This is a house that both grows out of the landscape and is open to the landscape. Its transparency creates a sense of spaciousness and connection to the land, providing soothing, varied, long views of nature from all public and private rooms.
Although we have not always used the formal term “sustainability”, our firm’s approach from its inception has been to design projects with an economy of means. This translates into building buildings that conserve energy. As early as 2000, we built this forward-thinking, high-performance house in which we successfully installed systems such as radiant heat, multi-zoned air conditioning, low-energy glazing and low VOC plaster interior finishes that are at the core of today’s green LEED thinking.
This house is inextricably tied to the landscape, emerging from the ledge upon which it is built. Constructed on a wooded lot, it straddles the northernmost part of the site like a line in the earth, delineating the spare cultivated land to the north from the heavily wooded forest to the south. In order to merge with the land, the first floor was partially buried below grade creating a lower profile for the entire structure while simultaneously optimizing the energy conservation of the natural insulation of the earth. Pyramids of boulders blasted from below the foundation were situated in site-specific locations simultaneously creating space-defining markers in the terrain and establishing a memory bank of the displacement of the earth beneath the house.
Location: Westchester, New York, U.S.
My Role: Architect