This house in rural New York state by Anmahian Winton Architects is made up of timber-clad volumes that project from a hillside towards views of the surrounding forest (+ slideshow).
Anmahian Winton Architects from Cambridge, Massachusetts, designed the property for a steeply sloping plot near the town of Red Rock, flanked on one side by a rocky ledge and on another by an incline that falls down towards a creek.
According to a statement from the architects: "These dramatic elements informed the siting of the buildings and the ways that landscape, views, and daylight could be integrated into the design."
Landscape studio Reed-Hilderbrand was consulted to advise on how best to retain the site's natural topography and preserve the overall condition of the forest, while also creating a series of architectural interventions.
A levelled terrace lined on one side by a long concrete retaining wall provides a plateau for the buildings and gardens.
A guesthouse abuts this wall and projects back towards the forest to the rear, while the main house rises to the same level from a second terrace carved into the lower portion of the site.
"The project embraces a 'machine in the garden' design approach, where contemporary vocabulary and minimal form underscore the relationship between built work and natural landscape," said the architects.
A large terrace sheltered beneath a pergola extends from the side of the guest house to create an outdoor seating area. A fireplace is built into the retaining wall to warm this area during colder months.
A paved path links the guest house's entrance with the main house and continues to a deck that cantilevers towards the canopies of the nearby trees.
The exteriors of the two buildings are clad in western red cedar boards with a prominent grain. The boards are fitted within rows of vertical bays to create an ordered aesthetic.
The natural wood contrasts with manmade materials, including the aluminium latticed screens that cover the entrances of both buildings and help to screen the interiors from the southern sun.
"A minimal materials palette evokes both rusticity and precision, reflecting the juxtaposed orders of landscape and architecture," the architects added.
Full-height glazing on the ground and first floors of the main house is surrounded by zinc tiles, while shiny metal chimneys emerge from the roof.
The interiors of the two buildings are painted entirely in white to emphasise views of the surrounding landscape and provide a neutral backdrop for the owner's art collection.
Photography is by Jane Messinger.
Team: Nick Winton, AIA (Principal in Charge) and Alex Anmahian, AIA (Consulting Principal), Makoto Abe (Project Architect), Sydney Thiel (LEED AP) and Mazen Sakr (Design Team)
Structural Engineer: RSE Associates, Inc.
Civil Engineer: Morris Associates P.L.L.C.
Landscape Consultants: Reed Hilderbrand LLC Landscape Architecture
General Contractor: Lou Boxer Builder, Inc.