Standing on an idyllic clearing within a nine-acre woodland parcel in the Hudson Valley, the Salt Point House boasts an ethereal beauty that is still strikingly contemporary. Designed by Thomas Phifer and Partners for a New York City couple, this stunningly simple weekend retreat consists of a glass and wood box sandwiched between two rippled silver curtains. Made from perforated stainless steel, the shades not only keep the interiors private but also filter the excess brilliance mediating the home with its luscious surroundings.
The project’s brief was simple: to design a small, comfortable, and low-maintenance retreat with two bedrooms, an open living area, and a porch. And the architects’ response was also simple: a two-level, open-plan, painted cedar box, lined in warm maple plywood and overlaid by two corrugated translucent screens.
The entrance of the house is completely glazed, with black “floating” steps. It’s shielded from the wind by the extended screens, as if they were delineating a cubic volume of air and forming an outdoors space–or porch–that is perfect for enjoying fresh air and admiring the seasonal flux.
The interiors have a modest palette and are furnished with sparse contemporary furniture. But they’re bright and warm thanks to the maple plywood that covers the floors and walls and also because of the soft natural light coming in from the woods, filtered by the translucent curtains. The bedrooms are situated on the upper level, where the architects did another play of light. They installed a couple of round skylights on the roof to bring in natural light, which passes freely into the lower level through a glass floor corridor.
The Salt Point House boasts a cool combination of contemporary design and a modest economy of materials and resources, just as you would expect from its innovative exterior and magnificent forest setting.
See more stunning architecture by Thomas Phifer and Partners here.
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