Prefab Mountain Retreat by Resolution: 4 Architecture

By • May 18, 2011

Located in Kerhonkson, a a hamlet in Ulster County, New York, this prefab mountain retreat was designed by architects Joseph Tanney and Robert Luntz of Resolution: 4 Architecture (Res4).

The 1,800 square foot two bedroom, two bathroom residence sits on a five acre rocky lot “overwhelming city skyscrapers and the scuttle of yellow cabs for sweeping views of the Catskill Mountains and hawks gliding over the thermals below.”

Mountain Retreat by Resolution: 4 Architecture:

“The client, who loves mountain biking and rock climbing, had camped out on the hilltop during the siting of the house to determine the best spot, angle and orientation for his new escape. The resulting artifact is a retreat carefully crafted into its unique surroundings. The Mountain Retreat amiably provides an efficient 1,800 sf indoor and outdoor living and entertaining experience.

The finished house, sitting partially on concrete stilts, gives way to a striking display. Its angular lines, soaring height, and unique blend of warm cedar siding with cool gray concrete panels and glass are displayed to great advantage in the context of its rough mountaintop setting. The stilts act as supports for the great room above and, below, define the parking spaces for an uncluttered entry and carport. An enclosed staircase runs along the north side of the house. Sheathed inside and out in grey Cebonit, it leads from the ground floor entrance to the main living spaces, which exist peacefully as if situated upon the treetops.

Requiring the insertion of pylons, a well, and a septic tank, the rocky terrain of the immediate site had to be blasted away. Rather than discarding the remnants, the rocks were scattered about in masses around the site. Used for outdoor seating and the entry pathway, the initiative further emphasizes the relation and integration of the house into the natural backdrop.

The home’s butterfly roof channels rainwater to two stainless-steel scuppers, from which it cascades off into in a waterfall effect upon thoughtfully placed boulders. The butterfly roofs on both ends, also gives the master bedroom a tall, sloped ceiling with allowance for the entry of an abundance of light from above, while a suite of ground-room floors fit cozily below. An elevated cedar deck wraps around three sides of the great room, offering a full day of sunshine for deck lounging and for the entire room to be opened to the outdoors with ease. Plain white duck-cotton curtains on exposed stainless-steel tracks were designed along the three walls to give the client the ability to maintain any level of personal privacy and protection from the sun as desired.

Throughout the house, sustainable, engineered bamboo floors were employed. Preserved with whitewash, they add a durable, yet softening touch to an already airy, open space. The predominantly light-hued interior is dramatically interrupted by dark countertops, and the dark cement panels proceed as an accent to both the inside and out.”

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