Chermayeff House, Garrison, New York, 2009
The relationship between man and nature is fundamental within the architectural discipline. In this project, a weekend house sited on the high grounds of a forest in New York’s Hudson Valley, we propose to challenge the conventional ‘man-looking-over-nature’ trope.
By dissolving the mass of the building into a loose gathering of solids and voids we create a house that is equally open in all directions and welcomes nature in. The common programs—dining, living, bedroom, study and bathroom—are separated from and connected to each other by un-enclosed courtyards. Passive cooling through cross ventilation and the shade of existing trees allows for the elimination of active cooling. The house realizes two distinct conditions: “living small”—by minimizing the construction footprint, and “living in the forest”—by creating a permeable edge between man-made and nature.