Robert Siegel Architects designed a 2,500 square foot addition to an existing mid-century modern residence originally designed by Edward Larrabee Barnes in 1974. The new study and master bedroom suite is designed with a floor elevation higher than the rest of the existing house, thus capturing sweeping views of the Hudson River Valley. The lower level includes a large wine tasting room, gallery, gym and storage.
To begin the project we researched and analyzed a group of six houses designed by Barnes. Each house was designed to extend the internal living spaces to the outside, often by creating walled courtyards. This house, one of his later works, is a more sophisticated play of the game, with a series of building block masses that "slide" against each other in alternating widths of wide, narrow, wide, etc. Our new addition becomes the fifth mass (a narrow one) and opens up to the wooded side of the lot. The addition projects out further south than any other part of the existing house, providing optimal views and privacy, while not impacting the massing of the house as seen from the northern entry court.
The house is built with reinforced concrete foundation walls and a double zone of wood studs for the exterior wall structure. This unusual detail allows large sliding windows to sit half concealed in the wall and half exposed to view. The result is a dramatic effect created by the large sliding doors that disappear into the walls when opened. The new addition uses a similar vocabulary of materials for siding and similar scaled doors to the existing house to create a unified building that is spatially consistent while containing advanced mechanical, communication, and security systems.