The Millbrook House is a private residence located on a 200-acre site in the Hudson Valley. Under the direction of the client, the design developed as a meditation on eastern architectural forms. In specific, designing the home as a sequence of views onto the surrounding landscape. The first glimpse is of the guest house, a weathered-steel box cantilevered over the edge of the car park.

Courtesy of Thomas Phifer – Photographs : Scott Frances

The retaining wall’s deep red, patinated steel panels extend from beneath the studio up the hill, rising in unison with the bluestone treads toward the main house. Situated on the land’s highest promontory, the residence comprises a rectangular glass pavilion along one side and a series of four low, mahogany volumes on the other. The house’s program is organized on two levels around a spacious outdoor courtyard.

Courtesy of Thomas Phifer – Photographs : Scott Frances

The public functions, living and dining spaces, are located on the upper entry level in a steel and glass pavilion. The progression of natural light over the course of the day and seasonal change during the year is visible from the open pavilion.

The residents access the bedrooms, study, and play spaces on the lower level with a stairwell, which is semi-concealed under the courtyard’s green roof. The lower level is composed as a series of individual cabins, whose double-height windows frame views of the landscape.

Courtesy of Thomas Phifer – Section

The family room at the base of the stairs opens to the south, while the bedroom and guest room cabins face the bamboo garden and meadows to the east. The house’s integration into the topography reduces demand on climate control systems, increasing natural insulation and benefiting from the effects of thermal lag.

Courtesy of Thomas Phifer – Photographs : Scott Frances

The house is naturally ventilated through its sequence of operable doors and vents, while direct sunlight is mitigated via exterior screens on glazed units.

Courtesy of Thomas Phifer – Photographs : Scott Frances

Project Info :

Architects : Thomas Phifer
Project Year : 2010
Project Area : 6600.0 ft2
Photographs : Scott Frances
Project Architect : Andrew Mazor
Project Manager : Stephen Dayton
Lighting Designer : Fisher Marantz Stone
Project Location : Millbrook, United States
General Contractor : Robert Bump Construction
Structural Engineering : Weidlinger Associates, Inc.
Project Team : Len Lopate, Joseph Sevene, Andrew Deibel

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