Inspired by barn construction and New York City loft spaces, the design for a new house, studio, and workshop in the Northern Catskills in New York State uses a system of columns and “built-up beams” to resist lateral loads and define programmatic zones. A mural located below a 7’ datum established by the built-up beams emphasizes these divisions. The massing of the house unfolds; a frieze located at the level of the exterior fenestration of the north elevation, which faces the entry from the road, alludes to ubiquitous manufactured homes, while the private south elevation, which faces a 1.25-acre pond, is mostly glass. The house is heated by active and passive solar energy, and by burning wood harvested on the property. The shutters of screened sleeping lofts located below the roofline on the south side of the house can be left open in summer to allow breezes from the pond and woods to cool the space.
A 4’ X 8’ module allows for efficient use of materials and is the basic unit of the design. The modules are massed into bays. The house is five bays wide and three bays deep. The design is scalable and can be adapted for a variety of projects, both residential and commercial. All possible configurations of the design elements preserve the energy-efficient features of the original.