This 1500 SF house in the Catskill Mountains is positioned on a gentle slope of rolling farmland and opens to sweeping views of the steep and thickly forested surrounding hillsides. The building uses subtle reinterpretations of vernacular vocabulary to emphasize and participate in the iconic and arcadian beauty of the local context. An intersection of two simple masses with matching pitched roofs is nestled into the hillside, creating a sheltered area between them as it embraces the valley beyond.
The most resonant elements of local built vocabulary–timber frames, natural wood sided forms, and field stone masses–are set against simple interior finishes to underscore the beauty and craftsmanship of the construction techniques and to allow light and space to be focal. A loft and a master bedroom suite give way to a dramatic main volume and hearth generating a feeling of expansiveness within an otherwise efficient and lean program.
Time-tested sustainable techniques of solar orientation, natural ventilation, and extensive use of local materials are teamed with newer technologies: SIP construction, radiant heating, high-efficiency appliances and lighting to achieve substantial reductions of the building’s carbon footprint. The house easily achieved Level II Energy Star Certification and scored high in LEED analysis.