Perched on the edge of a natural rock outcrop on a five-acre steeply sloping site, Bluff House is immersed in the rolling landscape of the Hudson River Valley. A south facing entry courtyard provides an intimate place of arrival, with low, overlapping roof forms that enclose and shelter from view. On the downslope side of the house, multistory glass walls face an expansive view of a bend in the river from the height of forty feet above the ground. The house is composed of dark stone that recalls the exposed rock of the surrounding site. A base course of rough granite is complemented with the more refined texture of a dark grey basalt stone on the walls.
The dramatic elevation change from one side of the site to the other presented unique challenges and required a sensitivity to building in the protected high-slope ecosystem. An existing house on the site was carefully removed to preserve the foundations to minimize the disturbance on the site, while structural members were repurposed for the new building form. Leveraging the existing concrete and steel allowed us to minimize the carbon footprint, with only minor foundation work needed. Combined with the high thermal efficiency of the walls and triple pane glazing in the windows, Bluff House is a highly sustainable response to the climate and site.