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Tower house accessed by luminous staircase

The Tower House by New York architects Gluck+ is a stunning, contemporary design with a few standout features, like its modern glazed tower, cantilevered canopy-level upper volume, and the vibrant yellow staircase zigzagging its way up through the glass. This small but sweet vacation house was designed to minimize its impact on its surroundings. Thus, the architects reorganized a conventional house of three bedrooms, three baths, kitchen, living and dining area, and outdoor deck, and reconfigured it with a small footprint and maximum views of the forest, lake and the Catskills in the distance.

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Surrounded by trees, this modern holiday home is probably the last thing you’d expect to come across in this treed natural setting. The glass house has a wonderful reflective quality about it which reflects the lush trees and nature which surrounds it. Dark green exterior enameling helps the house to disappear into the forest.

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The tower supports a large cantilevered volume which extends over the vertical base at either end. Beneath the overhang, an outdoor deck offers alfresco living and shelter from the elements. The underside of the upper floor features a surprising mirror finish. Each of the first three floors is occupied by a private bedroom with a small bath, while the top floor houses the principal living areas, floating among the treetops and overlooking the mountain range.

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By night, interiors glow among the trees, luring you in with their warm ambiance and their cool, contemporary edge.

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The flamboyant staircase takes you through the tower, leading to the horizontal upper volume which, like its lower vertical counterpart, is also lined with windows to let in the natural light and the earthy views.

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Tucked among the lush leafy treetops, the upper volume is positioned unevenly with its deeper overhang supported by two angled pillars that seem to disappear into the woods.

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And the views in are just as captivating as the views out. Interiors boast pops of vibrant color that are as fun for adults and they are for the kids of the house.

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The yellow stairwell is like a vertical hallway, leading you through the stacked kitchen and three bedrooms, up to the main living area above.

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In contrast to the bold yellow stairwell, a minimalist dining area is cool and clean, featuring white walls, floors and ceilings. Furnishings are simple, yet stylish. In place of adornments and artwork splashing the walls, geometric windows add architectural interest and invite views.

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The open concept living area is supported by slim posts, leaving sight lines open throughout the space and into the outdoors.

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If you deconstruct this interesting vertical house design, it’s really not far off from your typical house plan – three bedrooms, three baths, a hallway, kitchen, living / dining area, and an outdoor deck. What makes this house totally unusual is the way it all comes together:

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At the end of the day, we can’t imagine anything more relaxing and rewarding than spending your downtime in this refined refuge, opening those expansive windows and letting the view take over.

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Gluck+

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