21-06-2007

VilLA NM - UNStudio. Upstate New York, Catskills, 2006

UNStudio,

New York, USA,

Housing, Ville,

Glass, Cement,

Retraining,

Set on a hill not far from New York City, UNStudio's VilLA NM is shaped like a living body and appears to have its own soul and eyes.



VilLA NM - UNStudio. Upstate New York, Catskills, 2006 Lots of eyes, like screens looking out at the landscape, reflecting it and inviting it into the innermost parts of the house.
The setting of VilLA NM was the summer refuge of well-off Americans in the '20s and '30s; in '69 it became world-famous for the Woodstock festival.
In later years the Catskills were less popular, but they have recently seen rehabilitation and new development and have once again become a preferred destination for young New Yorkers escaping the stress of the Big Apple.
The house has 250 square metres of floor space and enjoys all-round views of the forest.
The slight slope of the land inspired the design and organisation of the built volumes. A single box literally forks into two separate buildings: one of them follows the slope to the north, while the other rises on the hill to create an indoor parking space and give rise to an internal layout on different levels. The structure of the volumes is generated by five parallel walls revolving around a horizontal axis, so that dividing elements are sometimes floors and sometimes vertical walls.
VilLA NM is a brilliant example of the potential for interaction between prefabrication systems and quality architecture. Use of a standardised prefabricated structure cut the cost of construction without penalising the aesthetic qualities of the home in any way. Inside, the home's different levels are linked by a system of ramps designed as walkways with views over the valley below. The bathroom, kitchen and fireplace are positioned along the home's vertical axis, keeping the exterior walls free.
The living room is on the lower levels, with cosier, more intimate, inward-looking bedroom areas on the upper levels. All the other rooms open up to the outdoors with large glass walls.
The materials employed are cement, glass and metal. Glass reflects the landscape and reproduces it on the skin of the house; metal picks up the warm hues of the earth and invites them to dialogue with the colours of the home.

Pictures courtesy of UNStudio

GALLERY


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