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House on the Hill
Columbia County, NY

The clients, art collectors from New York City, have been spending weekends in an old farmhouse in upstate New York for the past twenty-five years. They decided to sell the house and build a new one on an adjacent meadow that offers panoramic views of the rolling Berkshire foothills and distant Catskill mountains. They wanted a simple, energy efficient house that would take advantage of the site and could be easily adapted from its current use as a place for an active family with children to an easy-to-maintain, single-level house more suitable for older people.

The site is an open meadow exposed to abundant sun and breezes. It was cleared back in the days when the whole area was farmland, and is now surrounded on three sides by a new growth forest that ensures complete privacy. The grade slopes up gradually from the road below, first quite steeply, then less so, to a curving ridge that leads to an area near the top that is almost flat and is bisected by an old stone wall. This area was chosen as the site for the house.