Waccabuc House. A Question of BalanceRafael Viñoly Architects
Located in a fabulous woodland clearing the ‘Waccabuc House’ is a dynamic example of a contemporary forest home. This minimalist home is in a small hamlet in Westchester County, New York.
Architect Chan li lin was instantly inspired when he visited the site. The natural elements of rocks and trees directed the orientation and structure of ‘Waccabuc House’. The site had been occupied by a single story building dating from the 1950’s. When climbing onto the roof of this, Chan li Lin was amazed at the marvelous views from this elevated positioned and this directed his decision to position the main living rooms of the minimalist home on the upper storey.
The site is very remote and due to its large size extremely private and peaceful, a fabulous location to escape from the world and immerse oneself in nature at its most magnificent. This contact with the forest surrounding was a major consideration in the design process. The contemporary forest home had to offer the occupants maximum potential for enjoying their woodland environment
The minimalist home is composed of two simple cuboid blocks placed one on top of the other. The dramatic aspect of the construction is achieved as the top block is cantilevered so massive sections overhang the lower storey, creating a seemingly impossible balancing act. The apparent weightlessness of this suspended volume adds a dynamic quality to the contemporary forest home. It also has a practical use in expanding the usable living space on the upper level. In addition these overhanging sections provide welcome shade and protection from the elements on the ground floor.
No trees were removed during the construction of this contemporary forest home, the architects have designed responsibly and with total respect for the natural environment. The lower sections of the minimalist home ‘nestle’ into the rocky outcrop, thus creating unity between nature and ‘Waccabuc House’. This is symbolic of the harmony that the architects wanted to extend to the family who chose to live in this forest clearing.
The numerous windows have been carefully positioned to ensure that maximum advantage is made of daylight and the fabulous filtered colors from the forest. These are enjoyed throughout the bright airy interior of the minimalist home as are the fabulous views of the forest which embrace the house.
The architect has likened this fabulous woodland home to a ‘modern day tree house’. Suggesting that it is a hidden hideaway and a place to play and totally relax.
Contemporary Forest Home – interior design