Gypsy Trail Residence

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A residence built with—rather than on—the land.

The goal of this project was to integrate a new residence into the landscape and ecology of Pine Pond in Upstate New York, creating a living environment that emerges as an integral part of the surroundings and strengthens the local ecosystem.

The ground floor of the residence—made of rough stone collected on site—is recessed into the hillside. Above, a box of steel, wood, and glass sits at an angle, twisted to procure a direct view of the lake and to capture maximum sunlight.

The house’s infrastructural center resides in a generative core that, although originating on the ground floor, achieves its full form and function in the volume above. This core, or armature’ is a centrally located “smart structure” integrating washing, bathing, cooking, and heating & cooling systems, as well as a central audio system.

As the second floor’s hard exterior responds to the generative force of the armature, the box softens, tilts, and fragments. Where the roof bends to meet the armature, glass planes take the place of the zinc surface in the form of a continuous skylight. As the sun completes its arc through the sky, the armature collects the sun’s rays and channels them into various areas of the house. Here, architecture proves itself responsive to both natural environments, and their environmental regulators (cooling, heating).

Year: Completed 2002
Location: Carmel, New York
Client: Private
Project Type: Residence with guest house
Size: 3000 sq ft | Guest house: 1500 sq ft
Design Team: Principal in charge: Winka Dubbeldam, Assoc. AIA | Project Leader: Michael Hundsnurscher | Team: Rob Henderson, Tanja Bitzer, Kajsa Krause, Aaron Brakke, Sebastian Saint Jean, Siki Im, Maarten Wessel, Michael Johnston, Philip Holley
Consultants: Contractors: C & L Construction | UAD – Contractors for zinc roofing, fenestration, railings | Structural Engineering: Buro Happold PC | Mechanical Engineering: Stanislav Slutsky Engineers | Curtain Wall Consultant: Israel Burger, Bill Logan
Photography: Floto & Warner Photography | Archi-Tectonics

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