This project is a subtle touch intervention to a cabin fronting a glacial lake. The cabin is the sole structure nestled on a 40-acre, wooded hilltop in Putnam Valley. To access this cabin, you climb-up, then scramble-down, a rugged road flanked by woodlands and fern species. The woodlands form part of 1,000 acres of protected land owned by the Hudson Highlands Land Trust. Agencie’s architectural design forges connections between the inside and the outside at every opportunity.
Agencie preserved the soul of the existing structure while introducing a new volume and blowing-out the side of the cabin onto the lake. The glass wall amplifies the square footage and floods the house with natural light. The rustling of the forest and the crispness of the air brings a rebellious joy which is punctuated by a panoramic view of the pristine glacial lake.
The structure was first built in the pre-depression 20’s, and is charming by default: two stories bound within a 20×45 footprint. Upstairs is built in petroleum rubbed american chestnut logs harvested from the 40 acre parcel, with a schist rubble wall foundation on the lower level.
You enter on the upper floor, into a series of clumsily carved out rooms–a utilitarian and endearing kind of clumsiness whose spirit we’re seeking to maintain in the intervention. Such design elements, along with the wood-burning fireplace, exposed concrete walls, and steel hangers create a modern lakeside retreat. Agencie engineered new structural and mechanical systems to extend cabin living from 2 seasons to year-round.
Andrés Cortés, AIA
Sarrah Khan, PE
Núria Forqués Puigcerver