New York architects Thomas Phifer and Partners have sent us photographs of a lovely new house in the Hudson Valley. From the pictures, it doesn’t look like a house at all, but a pair of organza curtains that happen to have people living between them.
It’s called the Salt Point House, and it’s the weekend home of a New York City couple who asked for a small, two-bedroom retreat and got something much bigger, if the press release is to be believed. The building is “at once deep and lightly layered” and “both transparent and opaque.” It has “poetic qualities.” It “accepts yet transcends the sheer simplicity of the plywood box.” It “quietly renders the prosaic sublime.” It is “quietly monumental.” It is “gossamer.”
Gah! Someone hide — no burn — their thesaurus. Setting aside the purple prose for a moment, the place is a beaut. What we love most is that it’s not nearly as delicate as it seems. You’ve got a cedar box covered on two sides in stainless steel — the same sort of stuff you see on bridges and car grilles. Perforations give it that gorgeous transparency; corrugation makes it ripple like fabric.
Indoors, the house is done up in maple plywood. It’s as warm as a log cabin.