Monday, October 25, 2010

Salt Point House : By Thomas Phifer and Partners

Salt Point, New York, United States
Thomas Phifer and Partners

Post By:Kitticoon Poopong
Thomas Phifer’s ethereal Salt Point House makes its presence known on the landscape while fading into it.

Photo © Beth Broome
Salt Point House as viewed from the driveway.
For five years, Manhattan residents Cristina Grajales and Isabelle Kirshner rented a rustic former hunting cabin in Dutchess County, New York, for weekend getaways. The couple fell in love with the place and hoped someday to buy it. When they learned that the owners were not interested in selling, they were crestfallen. But their spirits soon lifted when they found an idyllic 9-acre parcel of land on a small, stream-fed pond a few miles away in the hamlet of Salt Point. Now all they needed was an architect.

Photo © Beth Broome
Sunlight streams through the glazed east facade and trees cast shadows on maple plywood panel
The couple, a gallery owner/design consultant and a lawyer, respectively, had admired the work of Manhattan-based architect Thomas Phifer, but only from a distance: Grajales had seen his Taghkanic Residence in Elle Decor. “I was scared to call him because I was afraid he was already too famous,” she says. As fate would have it, the two were introduced at a fund-raising event they attended. “It was destiny,” says Grajales, who added that Phifer did not seem deterred by either the small size of the house they hoped to build or their budget. 

Photo © Beth Broome
The living area connects to a double-height, screened cedar porch that looks out onto a pond.
Grajales and Kirshner’s demands were basic: They wanted their new house to do everything the old cabin did—it should be small, easy to maintain, and affordable. The program should also be similar and include two bedrooms and baths; a bunk/study room; a large, open living area; and, importantly, a screened porch. “It was an ideal challenge,” says Greg Reaves, a partner at Thomas Phifer and Partners, of the simple requirements. “It was a project we could really get into and work out the details.”

Photo © Beth Broome
One of the strip windows continues along the screened porch, framing horizontal views of the landscape.
Like a great meal, Salt Point House is made up of a few carefully selected ingredients thoughtfully put together. In the most basic terms, the 2,200-square-foot house is a wood-framed, stained cedar box punctured with skylights and lined in maple plywood with glazing on its short sides and a perforated corrugated-stainless-steel skin on its long sides. “Not exactly a one-liner,” says Reaves, “but what you see is what you get.”

Photo © Beth Broome
The perforated stainless steel panels extend beyond the exterior of the screened porch.

Photo © Beth Broome
The house's skin has a complex relationship with light. When light shines directly on it, it appears opaque. When light is present behind the screen, the skin becomes sheer.

Photo © Beth Broome
One of the two second-story bedrooms that look out onto the pond.

Photo © Beth Broome
Three square steps lead to an understated front entrance. 

Photo © Beth Broome
The house's skin takes on a delicate, veil-like quality. Skylights in the porch are visible.

Photo © Beth Broome
A back door leads into the porch, where skylights glow above.

Photo © Beth Broome
With light shining directly on the southern elevation, the panels appear opaque and serve as a projection screen for the tree shadows that dance across their surface.

Photo © Beth Broome
The house as viewed through the trees. The screens create a halo effect. 

the People

Thomas Phifer and Partners
180 Varick Street
New York, NY 10014
P 212 337 0334
F 212 337 0603
Thomas Phifer (registered architect)
Project Partner:
Greg Reaves (registered architect)
Project Architect:
Joseph Sevene (registered architect)
Project Team:
Christoph Timm, Jon Benner, Ina Ko, Kerim Demirkan, Katie Bennett, Matthew Jull
Structural Engineer:
Seth Wolfe for Weidlinger Associates
General contractor:
Kevin W. Beck
Scott Frances
212 227 2722
Credit: copyright: Scott Frances 2007
CAD system, project management, or other software used:
AutoCad 2002

the Products

Structural system:
Exterior cladding
Metal/glass curtainwall
Custom Designed Stainless Steel and Aluminum Screen Wall
Marvin Windows and Doors

Marvin Windows and Doors
Insulated-panel or plastic glazing:
Wood doors:
Marvin Windows and Doors
Interior finishes
Cabinetwork and custom woodwork:
Neo Cabinetry
Kevin W. Beck
Interior ambient lighting:
LaMar Lighting
Water Closets:
Vola, Speakman
via:archrecord--By Beth Broome
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