Hudson Highland Cottage

2011 - 2013

Located in the Hudson River valley, on a historic road dating back to the revolutionary war, the site is ensconced in an environment of forest, stone walls, clearings, and old farmsteads. The cottage was re-imagined on the footprint of an old farmhouse - the contemporary structure presents a stern and opaque façade to the road while a two story curtain wall takes advantage of the grade and provides prospect over the two-acre forest clearing behind. The design responds to these conditions with a sedge and wildflower meadow by providing a colorful and exuberant habitat for sensory enjoyment of the open field; a restrained planting palette in immediate proximity to the house referencing species from both the surrounding woodlands - ferns, amelanchier - and tall grasses and wildflowers along the terrace walls signifying and amplifying the meadows beyond.

Grading, site walls and terraces are designed as bold, contemporary, dynamic gestures directing circulation and sculpting a spatial connectivity between the cottage, the two barns, and the larger landscape. The palette of materials include board-form concrete walls, new crisp fieldstone walls (constructed from onsite material), bluestone and gravel paving, and Corten steel, which in certain light conditions concurs with the red of the adjacent barn. The steel also provides a datum for the grading and the siting of the house - barely detectable as flush edging at the entry, but graduating to an assertive presence along the front stairs and as retaining walls at the back terrace.

Collaborators: Larry Weaner Landscape Associates, Sharon Davis Design, Maple Leaf Associates