From Bernheimer Architecture
Houses throughout the 20th Century have attempted to create a seamless transition between interior and exterior through the use of transparency. Rather than induce contact between the two, however, the use of glass has only served to isolate the two into hermetically sealed conditions which, through the use of ever more efficient technological envelopes and climate control systems, have less and less to do with each other. This house for a 6-acre lot in upstate New York creates a new relationship between interior and exterior by literally pulling the exterior inside. The three story main volume, measuring fifty feet on a side, is organized around three slices of nature - interior garden spaces, each with its own programming based on specific orientation and lighting - cutting through the otherwise open floors to provide spatial hierarchy, vertical circulation, light, and air. The slices push beyond the envelope of the building to express themselves as aluminum-wrapped balconies that provide perches for viewing and subtly reflecting the surrounding landscape. The first floor of the house, which is partially below grade, contains a wine cellar, an exercise room, and three guest rooms. A sunken courtyard at the rear provides exterior patio space for two of the guest rooms. The second floor contains all communal programs, including kitchen, pantry, living and dining rooms, and a library and media center. The third floor contains the master suite (including bedroom, bathroom, and walk-in closet), as well as a sitting room and a lap pool. An adjacent connected volume contains a 4-car garage and a guest apartment and helps to frame an entry court for the house.