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Vacation Home

A Timber Platform in its Natural Setting

Christoff:Finio Architecture

Vacation Home
By Caterina Testa -
Velux, Bega Gantenbrink-Leuchten have participated in the project

When I connected to the Zoom room for my interview with Christoff:Finio Architecture, I was met by the smiling face of Martin Finio in his New York kitchen - a sleek linear environment animated by a sculpture of yellow lemons. The work styles imposed by Covid-19 in both Milan and New York allow us to get a glimpse of each other’s domestic spaces, revealing a side of people we would otherwise not know. What comes across from the faces and home of Martin and Taryn is a sense of calm and ease - something we unfortunately do not have in our own cities.

Husband and wife Martin Finio and Taryn Christoff founded the firm Christoff:Finio Architecture in 1999, pooling their skills and a shared professional and intellectual vision grounded in the idea that buildings and environments must lend significance to their locations.

Working across-the-board on a range of scales, from new-build to furniture and even partnerships with artists, Taryn, Martin and their co-workers have made it their business to explore contemporary architecture in as exacting and authentic a way possible, bringing to bear an evident intellectual honesty. Like numerous other projects, the Shelter Island house is the result of this enquiring approach that does not shy away from exploring diverse inputs. The client in this case, a young Brooklyn couple - he an author, she a teacher - had asked Christoff:Finio to design a weekend retreat on Shelter Island in the far northeast of Long Island.

This island, which also includes the districts of Brooklyn and Queens, stretches east-west for almost 190 km. Proximity to the sea and good climate all within easy reach on one of the world’s most vibrant metropolises have made it not only one of the most densely populated but also one of the most affluent islands on the planet.

Moving eastward out of New York, you gradually leave behind the densely inhabited districts. The urban fabric thins out and the tightly...

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