White Lake House

Located in the quiet town of Bethel, New York on the edge of a beautiful lake in the midst of the Catskills, this second home was designed in 2006 with a nod toward the local “Adirondack” building tradition but with its feet firmly rooted in European modernist intellectual rigor. The building is caught between and is defined by two stone walls that extend into the landscape to define entry, procession and ultimately the demarcation between the manmade and natural landscape bringing to mind strategies first explored in Mies van der Rohe's 1923 Ziegelsteinlandhaus project. The ground floor is developed as a “free plan” which allows fluid and open movement within the public areas of the house and from those spaces out into the landscape. The private sleeping spaces are then compressed into the volume of the “roof” form which is clad entirely in copper. While this plastic, folded, private volume which floats above the public spaces on timber columns is evocative of traditional residential or barn structures, it is also informed by the 20th century sculptural tradition of object formation and comprehension through the elapse of time. The copper volume is no static or understandably platonic shape. Lifting this architectural volume off the ground, the heavy timber columns, paradoxically lightening it.