A Thomas Phifer-Designed Glass-and-Steel Masterpiece For Sale

By Paige Alexus / Published by Dwell
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Architect Thomas Phifer is known for his sleek, minimalist steel-and-glass structures that are designed to take in endless sunlight. Now, you can own one of his first big commissions in Hudson, NY for $5,999,000.

When Phifer was hired to design and build a family’s weekend home on a chunk of a 415-acre property that used to be owned by the Rockefeller family, he embarked on a collaboration with one of his most respected mentors—the modernist landscape architect, Dan Kiley. The two worked together to create the Taghkanic House in 2001, a white-painted steel-and-glass box that rests on a hill from one side. The other side of the house sinks into the earth while still maintaining a connection to the sky with a shaded glass face that opens to light and views. 

The glass-and-steel Taghkanic House is set far back from Old Route 82, making it invisible from the street. The main pavilion—which is a section of the full structure—is about 1,800 square feet and looks out to incredible views of the Catskill Mountains.    

The glass-and-steel Taghkanic House is set far back from Old Route 82, making it invisible from the street. The main pavilion—which is a section of the full structure—is about 1,800 square feet and looks out to incredible views of the Catskill Mountains.    

Courtesy of Houlihan Lawrence

When we spoke to Phifer about this project a few years ago, he mentioned, "I’d never designed a house in the landscape before. We talked about how to embed architecture in the land, how to choreograph the arrival, how to allow buildings to deal with daylight and the land." 

Phifer designed screens made out of aluminum mesh filters that pivot in order to control sunlight intake throughout the day.

Phifer designed screens made out of aluminum mesh filters that pivot in order to control sunlight intake throughout the day.

Photo: Mark Mahaney

After being on the market for around a year, the 8,800-square-foot residence—which extends over 115 acres of impeccable natural landscape—is begging for someone to make it their own who will take advantage of the outstanding amenities. These include indoor and outdoor pools, two large ponds, tennis and bocce courts, views of the Catskills Mountains, and a walk-in cheese locker and wine room. 

The house includes 7,000 square feet of substructure that sits on the underside of the hill from one side, and is open to the sky on the other. The glass plates seen at the forefront of this image serve as skylights to the substructure, which includes an indoor pool, mudroom, library, kitchen, gym, media room, and a walk-in cheese locker and wine room. 

The house includes 7,000 square feet of substructure that sits on the underside of the hill from one side, and is open to the sky on the other. The glass plates seen at the forefront of this image serve as skylights to the substructure, which includes an indoor pool, mudroom, library, kitchen, gym, media room, and a walk-in cheese locker and wine room. 

Courtesy of Houlihan Lawrence

The house is located in a rural area of Taghkanic, New York, which is a 2.5-hour drive from NYC and 15 minutes from Hudson proper. As the agent who is listing the property through Houlihan Lawrence, John R. Friend explained to us that the most spectacular element of this sale, is the property itself. "It’s like actually living in nature," he says.  

A large portion of the home is surrounded by green roof that sits above the substructure. The reflecting pool is shown here, which can be admired from the expansive kitchen's windows.

A large portion of the home is surrounded by green roof that sits above the substructure. The reflecting pool is shown here, which can be admired from the expansive kitchen's windows.

Courtesy of Houlihan Lawrence

Phifer pointed out to us, "We work a lot with nature, trying to bring people more in touch with their environment in a subliminal way." He surely succeeded with this property, which is waiting patiently for the right homeowner. 

The main pavilion consists of a large light-filled area that includes a living and dining room. It boasts 360-degree views, thanks to floor-to-ceiling glass.

The main pavilion consists of a large light-filled area that includes a living and dining room. It boasts 360-degree views, thanks to floor-to-ceiling glass.

Courtesy of Houlihan Lawrence


Adjacent to the reflecting pool is a chef's kitchen that’s filled with expanses of stainless steel.

Adjacent to the reflecting pool is a chef's kitchen that’s filled with expanses of stainless steel.

Courtesy of Houlihan Lawrence


The property includes a private guest house that’s set to one side of the house. It holds three bedrooms, a kitchen, and a laundry area—all of which is surrounded by four walls of glass and steel.

The property includes a private guest house that’s set to one side of the house. It holds three bedrooms, a kitchen, and a laundry area—all of which is surrounded by four walls of glass and steel.

Courtesy of Houlihan Lawrence


Shown here is the living space that can be found in the guest house.

Shown here is the living space that can be found in the guest house.

Courtesy of Houlihan Lawrence


The master bedroom in the guest house is clean and simple, shown here with a Cherner Side Chair posted up in the corner.

The master bedroom in the guest house is clean and simple, shown here with a Cherner Side Chair posted up in the corner.

Courtesy of Houlihan Lawrence


Another bedroom in the guest house serves as a children’s room and includes bunk beds that were built into the wall by Phifer.

Another bedroom in the guest house serves as a children’s room and includes bunk beds that were built into the wall by Phifer.

Courtesy of Houlihan Lawrence


The substructure features an indoor pool, which looks out through glass walls on the side that's exposed to the ground level. 

The substructure features an indoor pool, which looks out through glass walls on the side that's exposed to the ground level. 

Courtesy of Houlihan Lawrence


By following a pathway of Linden trees from the indoor pool, you’ll find yourself at the outdoor pool. 

By following a pathway of Linden trees from the indoor pool, you’ll find yourself at the outdoor pool. 

Courtesy of Houlihan Lawrence


Along with a tennis court, the property also features a bocce court, which sits adjacent to the outdoor pool.

Along with a tennis court, the property also features a bocce court, which sits adjacent to the outdoor pool.

Courtesy of Houlihan Lawrence


Dan Kiley filled the entire property with thoughtful landscape elements, including this patched concrete outdoor dining area. 

Dan Kiley filled the entire property with thoughtful landscape elements, including this patched concrete outdoor dining area. 

Courtesy of Houlihan Lawrence


To find out more about this home for sale, explore the listing here. And let us know what your favorite part about this house is in the comments!

Paige Alexus

@paigealexus

Content Producer & Blogger at Dwell

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