When New York firm Hariri & Hariri unveiled a design for a futuristic residence they called the Digital House in 1998, it caused a stir: in place of walls, the architects integrated floor-to-ceiling LCD panels that, when turned on, were interactive screens and, when off, became completely transparent.Additional Information:
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The house was never realized but, nearly two decades later, its conceptual underpinnings have been reintroduced in a quiet weekend residence in upstate New York. The low-slung structure marries innovation with a vernacular sensibility.
“We wanted it to be part of the architecture of the area, not a machine in the field,” explains Gisue Hariri, who runs the firm with her sister Mojgan.
Their client, a New York City–based IT specialist, wanted a house that was environmentally friendly, on the forefront of technology, and that would provide a comfortable retreat.
After establishing a site defined by a trio of rock formations on the wooded 140-acre property, the architects, inspired by the weathered agrarian buildings dotting the landscape, conceived the house as a collection of woodframed interlocking volumes, or “pods.”
The main volume, a combined kitchen and living space, features smooth stone floors, a double-sided fireplace, and accents of blackened steel.
But it is the concealed elements that make this a smart home: geothermal wells and solar panels provide energy, while a home-automation system allows the client to control the residence remotely through his mobile phone.
The architects paid particular attention to the subtle spaces between volumes, both emphasizing views through the building and out to the landscape. It’s in these areas where the wood structure is most evident, the ipé-clad walls intentionally splayed to evoke the buckling walls of aging barns.
“A lot of people eliminate these spaces,” says Gisue. “I think they make the architecture special.” Luckily, the architects had little difficulty convincing their tech-savvy client of this approach: he was so enthusiastic about the design process, he rendered the house using 3-D software and gave the architects a virtual tour himself.
HARIRI & HARIRI ARCHITECTURE, DPC
520 W 27 STREET, SUITE 702
NEW YORK, NY 10001
Personnel in architect's firm who should receive special credit:
PARTNER IN CHARGE- GISUE HARIRI
PROJECT ARCHITECT- MOJGAN HARIRI (Registered Architect)
PROJECT MANAGER- MARKUS RANDLER (Registered Architect)
THOM FILICIA INC.
SILMAN ASSOCIATES (STRUCTURAL)
IP GROUP CONSULTING ENGINEERS (MEP)
Landscape: H. KEITH WAGNER
Civil Engineer: PATRICK J. PRENDERGAST, PE
Data & Network Engineer: PRECISION AUDIO VISUAL
Soil Engineer: DENTE ENGINEERING (FRED A. DENTE, PE)
Metal & Glass Fabrication: ARCHITECTURAL GLASS INDUSTRIES, LLC- TOM MILLS
Pool & Spa: ALL AMERICAN POOLS
PAUL WARCHOL 212.431.3461
HARIRI & HARIRI ARCHITECTURE, DPC
Gross square footage:
3000SF (INCLUDING EXTERIOR LIVING SPACE)
CONCRETE SLAB ON GRADE WITH STEEL AND WOOD FRAMING. REINFORCED CONCRETE RETAINING WALLS.
ALL BRAZILIAN WALNUT (IPE) AND STUCCO
Metal/glass curtain wall: ARCADIA SLIDING WINDOW AND WINDOW WALLS
Rainscreen: BRAZILIAN WALNUT (IPE)
Wood: BRAZILIAN WALNUT (IPE)
Moisture barrier: GRACE, PREPRUFE 200 MEMBRANE
Other cladding unique to this project: INTERLOCKING STONE CLADDING
Elastomeric: EPDM ROOFING BY FIRESTONE ROOFING SYSTEMS
Metal: ANODIZED ALUMINUM- CHENEY FLASHING COMPANY
Metal frame: ALUMINUM CLEAR ANODIZED FINISH- ARCADIA
Glass: LOW E TEMPRERED GLASS- CARDINAL GLASS INDUSTRIES
Entrances: CUSTOM SOLID IPE WOOD
Metal doors: ARCADIA ALUMINUM AND GLASS SLIDING DOORS- ALL EXTERIOR DOORS
Wood doors: SOLID WOOD DOORS, PAINTED- ALL INTERIOR DOORS
Sliding doors: ARCADIA ALUMINUM CLEAR
Upswinging doors, other: UPSWING ALUMINUM GLASS – GARAGE DOOR
Locksets: OMNIA- TMORTISED LOCKSET
Closers: STANLEY- POLISHED CHROME. PEMKO- POLISHED CHROME
Pulls: FROMS + SURFACES- CLASSIC DOOR PULL IN POLISHED STAINLESS STEEL
Paints and stains: BENJAMIN MOORE
Cabinetwork and custom woodwork:
KITCHEN- CUSTOM STAINLESS STEEL CABINTERY BY DANVER
BATHROOM- CUSTOM IPE WOOD VENEER AND RECYCLED HAMMERED ZINC
Floor and wall tile (cite where used):
FLOORS- GEORGETTE, MARBLE, HONED FINISH STONE FLOORING (INTERIOR & EXTERIOR)
WALLS- ISLAND STONE BY ARTISITC TILE, RUSTIC SILVER QUARTZITIC SLATE (INTERIOR – MASTER BEDROOM WALL, FIREPLACE WALL. EXTERIOR- OUTDOOR LIVING AREA)
Special interior finishes unique to this project: INTERLOCKING STONE TILES BY ARTISITC TILE
ALL INTERIOR FURNITURE SELECTED BY THOM FILICIA INC
Interior ambient lighting:
SPECIALTY LIGHTING INDUST. INC.
BEGA RECESSED WALL LUMINAIRE
BEGA- RECESSED CEILING
Task lighting: ALKCO- MINIATURE UNDER CABINET LIGHTING
Dimming System or other lighting controls: LUTRON
Photovoltaic system: ELECTRICAL ENERGY IS SUPPLIED BY 9 SOLAR PANELS THAT PROVIDE 25KW/H. COOLING AND HEATING PROVIDED BY 3 GEOTHERMAL WELLS.