Jay Bargmann creates a glass box home in upstate New York

Jay Bargmann nestles glass-box home into hillside in rural New York

Jay Bargmann of Rafael Viñoly Architects has designed a house for his family in the Catskill Mountains, featuring glass walls that reflect the scenic landscape (+ slideshow).

Shokan Residence by Jay Bargmann

Called the Shokan House, the dwelling stands at the edge of a reservoir, just below the summit of a mountain in the Catskill region, located about 100 miles (160 kilometres) north-west of New York City. The home offers expansive views of the lake and the hilly landscape.

Shokan Residence by Jay Bargmann

A variety of trees encircle the dwelling, including oak, fir, spruce and the occasional birch. It's not uncommon to see hawks, turkeys, fox, deer and bears on the property, said Bargmann, who serves as vice president at Uruguayan architect Rafael Viñoly's New York studio.

Shokan Residence by Jay Bargmann

The rectilinear home is nestled into a gently sloping site. Highly reflective glass walls are framed with black steel and rise from an exposed concrete foundation.

A gravel road leads to the long western elevation of the house and then extends in an arc around the southern elevation. The ground level features an entry vestibule, garage and living room.

Shokan Residence by Jay Bargmann

"From the concrete-walled vestibule with its fireplace, one turns and enters the steel-framed living room with views across treetops to the reservoir, the distant mountains and the surrounding forest," said Bargmann.

Shokan Residence by Jay Bargmann

Stairs lead to a dining room and kitchen on the second level, which offers more elevated views of the landscape. The second storey also contains two bedrooms and a library.

Shokan Residence by Jay Bargmann

"The house terminates in a boulder-faced cliff, a stone terrace and herb garden on the west and a single bench to the east that sits in the tree-filtered morning light," said the architect.

Shokan Residence by Jay Bargmann

Steel, glass, concrete, ceramic and wood are left exposed and unadorned throughout the building.

Shokan Residence by Jay Bargmann

"Every piece records the construction of the house and is essential to the concept," said the architect. "The house is lucid and laconic."

Shokan Residence by Jay Bargmann

Glass enclosures are built of T sections, which were bolted to the concrete foundation and support open web joists.

Shokan Residence by Jay Bargmann

"The T sections also serve as the frame for the glass wall, integrating structure and enclosure," said Bargmann. "Services are run beneath the ceramic tile access floor and can be readily accessed, reconfigured or extended."

Shokan Residence by Jay Bargmann

The interior space features walnut cabinetry and stainless steel work surfaces.

Shokan Residence by Jay Bargmann

"The horizontal stainless steel planes mimic the surface tones of the reservoir and subtly reflect the atmospheric conditions," said Bargmann.

Shokan Residence by Jay Bargmann

The project is one of many contemporary homes dotting New York's Catskill Mountains and Hudson River Valley. Others include a weekend retreat by Gluck+, with a living room volume that hovers high above the ground, and a wood-clad home by Foz Design that features an infinity pool.

Photography is by Brad Feinknopf.

Shokan Residence by Jay Bargmann
Location plan – click for larger image
Shokan Residence by Jay Bargmann
Site plan – click for larger image
Shokan Residence by Jay Bargmann
Exploded axonometric diagram – click for larger image
Shokan Residence by Jay Bargmann
Ground floor plan – click for larger image
Shokan Residence by Jay Bargmann
First floor plan – click for larger image
Shokan Residence by Jay Bargmann
Section one – click for larger image
Shokan Residence by Jay Bargmann
Section two – click for larger image
Shokan Residence by Jay Bargmann
Section three – click for larger image
Shokan Residence by Jay Bargmann
Section four – click for larger image