Nestled in the woods of Hudson Valley, this house was conceived as a car-lover’s dream retreat. A generously sized garage is the locus of the design, generating space for car storage and maintenance as well as a spacious wine cellar and a furniture workshop. The rectangular form of the house, which is partially embedded in the hilly landscape, emerges from the lower-level garage and creates an open plan living space ideal for entertaining, relaxing by a cozy fire, or creating a home cooked meal.
The exterior cladding gave us a special chance to join in on the build process. We researched the Japanese technique of charring wood called shou sugi ban and decided that it was something we wanted to tackle on our own. Working with premium cedar siding, we charred and finished the wood prior to installation, giving it a unique and durable finish. Inset gutters maintain the sleek silhouette of the house while retaining full functionality.
Upon approach to the house, visitors are greeted by a cantilevered entryway and an impressive twelve-foot mahogany pivot door and double height entryway. The exposed concrete wall extends from the exterior, and the continuous wood beam structure of the cantilever pulls the eye up and through the space. The stair, with solid wood treads made from hardwood trees formerly on the house’s site, draws guests to the main living level and bridges the private and public sections of the house.
The open-plan living space is anchored by an expansive window seat that provides a cozy reading nook next to the next to the built-in fireplace, while a waterfall-edge marble island graces the room with added elegance. The handcrafted concept is further embraced through the furniture and furnishings. The dining room table, a design by architect, built by craftsman collaboration between Studio MM and Elijah Leed, is accented by a Studio MM designed brass chandelier. In the master bedroom, we constructed a built in headboard and crafted custom linen curtains.
The cantilevered roof from the front entry extends through to the rear of the house to shade an exterior deck. The furniture-finish plywood clad structure is supported by a single cantilevered beam anchored to the exterior fireplace. Stainless steel detailing accents both fireplaces, providing wood storage space on the exterior and additional warmth for the hearth on the interior. The furniture studio below the deck is accessed via a custom oversized bi-fold door.
The house’s simple footprint and partially submerged lower level begin to speak to its efficient design. During the summer, concrete floors and exposed concrete walls keep the first floor cool while the covered deck and strategically placed windows on the second floor provide passive cooling for the flexible entertaining space.
True to its concept, purpose and program, this house is all about curating specific and unique design moments and providing hands-on learning experiences. Studio MM prides itself on creating homes that engage the client, highlight contemporary design, showcase local artisans, and emphasize high quality detailing and craftsmanship: TinkerBox embodies all of these qualities.