BLUE ROCK HOUSE
The Blue Rock house is a collection of buildings whose scale suggests a rural farm typology, organized around a central courtyard. Its rocky, exposed site provided an opportunity to nestle the ensemble into the property’s high shoulder, allowing the landform to protect the compound from extreme weather, while providing expansive views of the Catskill and Berkshire Mountains.
House, guesthouse, and garage form a community of structures, organized so the owners can comfortably inhabit them as a small family or as a large group of extended family and friends. Their agrarian typology gently transforms as buildings respond to the interplay of interior program and outdoor space.
Residential, Single Family
Bluestone walls knit architecture and the natural environment together, adjusting to the specific demands of threshold, view, and outdoor space, and blurring the distinction between cultivated and raw landscape. Walls, courtyards, and other outdoor gathering space impose a new geometric order that anchors the project to its surroundings.
A restrained palette of copper, cedar, and bluestone is used throughout the project, sculpting the buildings’ relationship to the terrain; changing scale to enhance the experience of inhabiting home and landscape; and affecting transparency, privacy, and interaction within the compound.
Blue Rock’s design maximizes benefits of the compound’s passive solar orientation. It employs sustainable systems that conserve energy and water, and restore the site to its natural state. Geothermal wells embedded in the rock substrate provide heating and cooling for buildings and pool. Wind turbines sited to engage prevailing winds off-set the annual electric load of the house, including the added demand of the geo well pumps. An adjacent pond was revitalized and expanded to provide both new habitat and irrigation water for supporting a new landscape of natural grasses. Major interior and exterior building materials include rapidly renewable cork, reclaimed hardwood flooring, FSC-certified cedar siding, recycled copper, local bluestone, and bio-based soybean foam insulation.
Suzman & Cole Design Associates
RSE Associates, Inc.
Allied Consulting Engineering Services, Inc.
Alvin B. Huehnel
Lou Boxer Builders