It is rare to have a property that has an embarrassment of great sites for building, as this one does. But eventually we chose the "best of the best", with sweeping views of the vast Catskills valley and mountains all around. The views and the strong slope of the land led naturally to a curved house plan. It is cut into the sloped land, giving a sense that it is rooted in the landscape, and it allows every room to have magnificent views of the landscape. All the rooms have sloped roofs that rise towards the view side of the room -- making the views even more prominent in every room. The house could be best thought of as a House of Vistas.
The curved character of the plan creates a series of radial lines each of which has a truss to hold the roofs up, and these same radial lines define the room separations and roof shapes. This house shows some of the essential features of an organic architecture:
- a way of building that respects (and flaunts) the needed structural requirements of a building. By using the geometry of the radial structural lines for the exposed wood trusses we create a visually rich interior.
- using materials based on their important properties: if the material has interesting textures or colors -- glory in those features -- don't cover them; and don't make materials appear to do what they can't: glass shouldn't appear to hold up stone, for example.
- Project Category: Houses,
- Location: Halcottsville NY
- Materials: Wooden truss structure with curved wood and glass walls; integral floor heat
- Size: 4500 sf