Be·spoke, biˈspōk “Made to order” was the driving force in a collaboration that resulted in a personally defined dwelling for a prominent tailor who enjoys entertaining and gardening. The client desired an environmentally sustainable house, married to its landscape, which included an 3.75 acre mini arboretum embedded with abstract concrete sculptures and paths.
Stuart responded to program and site by designing a “J” shaped plan surrounding a central garden and future pool. The house rises from the site in a series of volumes that remain a single room in width, allowing for abundant natural light. This upward spiral of spaces evolves from public spaces (kitchen, dining, living) towards private (children's and master suites and a third floor study). Multiple outdoor rooms and balconies take advantage of natural views.
The main entry to the house is informal, embodying the informal lifestyle of the family. One moves from entry and mud room area past a generous eat-in kitchen with a small office and an outdoor dining balcony and on to the more formal indoor dining space. Here the space unfolds into a double height living area- the heart of the house. Within its volume are several sitting and study spaces, at several levels, allowing the family members to be in close proximity, while engaged in differing activities. Stairs scissor up uniting the upper, main and lower levels from this single space, and a second entrance links the living room to an “outdoor living room” – a covered loggia – with the garden court to one side and the open landscape to the other.
The upper sleeping level itself is split into two distinct precincts – one for the children and one for the parents – linked by a steel bridge. From this second level, another flight of stairs rises up to the snoring room – a study/retreat and refuge high up in the woodland canopy with access to the terracing rooftop gardens.
Below the main living room, on the subterranean level, is a more casual recreation space that accesses the lower grade. On this level is also an art and craft room, as well as maid’s quarters and utilities.
The concrete frame structure and translucent polycarbonate skin are combined with Black Locust wood siding mounted on a ventilated wall system. The Black Locust siding was milled from trees felled on site during Hurricane Irene. In fact, reclaimed wood became the theme of the interior. The wood flooring (over radiant tubing) was milled from the 4 Pin Oak trees that were removed to make way for the house, which were the only trees removed by man. Nature proved not to be so kind when Hurricane Sandy hit and felled 20 trees. When one large Oak landed on the house and broke, the client e-mailed us: “House 1 – Tree 0”. This wood was used for handrails and trim. The Living room Fireplace mantel was fabricated from old swap wood uncovered during excavation as well as the dining room table and a vanity. The exposed concrete walls and ceilings are complimented by prefabricated green fiber panels, pre-finished (The client did not want any drywall in the house) and mounted to Oak corners, archways, sills, heads, and door frames, with exposed facets. The exposed interior and exterior recessed corners create and oak trail that runs through the interior and contrasts with the grey natural concrete.
Sustainable systems include geothermal heating and cooling, LED lighting, proper solar shading, foam insulation, green roofs, and use of other reclaimed materials such as eco-resins and PEP paneling.
The home has become a canvas for the client’s continued landscape projects, planting trellis vines, and roof top vegetable gardens. For the client, “the house fits our family perfectly like a Greenfield Clothier custom made suit.”
We are architects + designers, offering our services to residential clients for new homes, renovations, apartments, town houses + multifamily complexes. We also service commercial and medical clients for corporate and executive offices as well as retail and hospitality establishments.
Our studio is dedicated to fulfilling the needs of our clients while pursuing innovative, environmentally conscious designs. The design process is equally as important as the completed project, as every project is tailored to our clients' needs.
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