Olivebridge, NY – Gluck+
This country retreat for an urban family sought to reconfigure the shape and function of the typical vacation house, which is often just a regular house, built somewhere else. Here the design expresses, boldly and forthrightly in space and form, the uses and structure of what is in effect a guest-and-gathering house. The site and program demanded bridges both conceptual and physical: bridges between historical forms, styles, and materials, as well as between topographies, uses, and generations.
The house consists of three identifiable forms, each with its own stylistic expression and distinctive use of materials. The main facade is a large, three-story cube, faced in thin concrete panels akin to cut stone, suggesting the Palladian formality of early American architecture. A clapboard-sided, steeply-pitched roof form intersects the cube at an oblique angle, its shape a gesture to regional farmhouses. This form is penetrated by a long, narrow, elevated wing clad in corrugated metal typical of low-cost rural building in the twentieth century. The whole is a composition that evokes three centuries of American country architecture.
Both interior and exterior spaces are characterized by elements of whimsy and surprise, so that the spatial experience is variable and playful — not so much a house as a place for fun and camaraderie in the woods.
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