Pleasant Valley, NY
This house terraces along a steep ledge and rock outcropping at the top of a ridge, allowing the sectional organization of the house to merge with the existing topography. Various levels inside are connected through steps cut into the ledge; the house stretches up along the ridge and bends through the trees as part of the pathway to the crest of the view-line. The house was designed for a multi-generational family so the layout includes several large recreational spaces as well as multiple bedroom suites on two levels.
The upper floor is a pavilion-like structure for public activities that rests on a stone plinth containing the bedrooms and garage. The stone plinth is an outgrowth of the rock outcropping and marries the house back to the ridge.
The kitchen and vaulted main living area serve as a link between the large pool deck to the south and a more intimate terraced garden to the north.
The roof structure follows the tree canopy; its peaks and valleys ripple along the ridge line. A lift in the roof line corresponds to the density of the communal activities inside. The screened façade of the house mirrors the overlapping trees around the site; views of the surrounding woods are unified with the fenestration of the cladding.
For thermal efficiency, the house employs thermal panels, multiple shading devices, and geothermal heating & cooling. The siting of the house takes advantage of the tree canopy for shading in the summer and diverting winds in the winter.
MECHANICAL Winter Associates
STRUCTURAL Dewhurst MacFarlane