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Knotty Western Red Cedar Clad House

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Red Rock House by Anmahian Winton Architects is located on a steep and wooded 16 acre site in Red Rock, NY and consists of two buildings; the garage with guest suite above and the main living quarters. The two structures are all positioned within a level plateau formed with the help of a 200ft long board-formed masonry retaining wall that follows the topography of the site.

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Just past the retaining wall is a vertical rock edge on one side and a creek on the other. The forest that surrounds the site offers minimal sun penetration and limited views and these factors where all taken into consideration when choosing the location and orientation of each of the three buildings.

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The guesthouse is positioned on two levels, sitting on and clinging to the retaining wall while at the same time perching on the leveled garden terrace.

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In complete contrast, the main house projects out and over the slope it to take advantage of the forestscape beyond.

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Anmahian Winton Architects worked closely with landscape architects Reed-Hilderbrand on the sustainable harvesting of trees to clear the site and then later on the landscape wall that surrounds the structures and the garden terraces within.

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It was important to both the architects and the landscapers to preserve as much of the natural terrain as possible and it was for this reason the 200ft retaining wall was designed.

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With the masonry retaining wall being such a dominant feature it was designed to be an integral part of the outdoor living room with a beautiful fireplace centered on it and a long serving shelf off to the side.

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The retaining wall also became the catalyst for the positioning of the structures and once located within the level plateau a Bluestone path was created to join the guesthouse with the main building.

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The natural materials chosen for the building facades allow the structures to settle into their natural surroundings, working with rather then against Mother Nature.

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The horizontal wood timbers used are high performance knotty western red cedar milled into various profiles to create interest via pattern rather then color.

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By creating a facade of pattern the ever-changing sun reflections and shadows become a strong element in the overall aesthetic of the buildings.

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Aluminum T-sections define the rows of wood siding, creating an additional layer of repetitive pattern.

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Latticed sections define the main entrance to both the living quarters.

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Inside the home the views of the forest remain front and center thanks partly to the use of wood flooring and white walls – both of which allow the brilliant greens of the forest to sparkle through the glazings.

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Where the glazings stop and the large expanses of white walls take over the client’s large art collection create a strong and dynamic juxtaposition to nature.

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A home studio is filled to the brim with everything the client could need for their hat workshop – and those views are the perfect catalyst for creativity.

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A small reading nook next to the fireplace in the family room has a doorway above it for spur of the moment visits to the garden.

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Who wouldn’t want to spend time outside with beautiful forest vistas like this? Even without the visuals, the sounds and smells of the flora and fauna would be so incredibly sublime.

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Photography by Jane Messinger

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