Dutchess County, NY

Site Size: 365 acres

Project Size: 2,000 square feet

Program: The clients, for their sprawling, 365-acre working farm in Dutchess County, New York, requested a quiet weekend house patterned after Mies van der Rohe’s iconic Farnsworth House (1951). They asked for a glass facade with unobstructed views of the landscape, and the architects encouraged the client to incorporate sustainable features that would not compromise the design concept.

Solution:The one-story box, wrapped in triple-paned glass, rests on a concrete foundation built on a rock outcropping on a hill. Four steel columns function as legs supporting a cantilevered tabletop roof. With the columns hidden in the core of the rectangular volume, the house seems to float above ground.

The master bedroom and living, kitchen, and dining spaces are exposed on either side, though the master bedroom can be screened off with sliding oak panels. The remaining interior spaces, including two sleeping nooks with bunk beds, a bathroom, and storage room, are enclosed with slatted white oak for privacy.

The prefabricated glass facade was shipped in a container and assembled on site in two days. The house has a number of sustainable design features, including geothermal heating and cooling, radiant floors, natural ventilation, automatic solar shades, photovoltaic panels, and rainwater collection for irrigation. Native vegetation mitigates storm water run-off, and bluestone slabs and shale excavated from the site were used for a terrace and outdoor paths.


Owner: Withheld

Completion Date: October 2012

Site Size: 365 acres

Project Size: 2,000 square feet

Total construction cost: Withheld

Desai Chia Architecture PC
37 West 20th Street, 710
New York, NY 10011
P 212.366.9630
F 212.366.9278

Personnel in architect's firm who should receive special credit:
Katherine Chia AIA (Registered Architect)
Arjun Desai AIA (Registered Architect)

Ove Arup & Partners (Structural Engineer)
Tucker Associates (Salamone Group) (MEP Engineer)
GeoDesign, Inc. (Geotechnical Engineer)
Paggi Martin & DelBene LLP (Civil Engineer)

Landscape: Michael VanValkenburgh Associate, Inc.

Lighting: Christine Sciulli Light + Design

Construction Manager: Daniel O’Connell’s Sons, Inc.

Paul Warchol Photography

CAD system, project management, or other software used: Autocad



Structural system
Steel frame structure & concrete foundation

Built-up roofing: Carlisle

Wood frame: Tischler und Sohn (USA) Limited

Wood doors: Descience Laboratories

Sliding doors: Tischler und Sohn (USA) Limited

Locksets: Rixon, Rajack


Interior finishes
Cabinetwork and custom woodwork: Descience Laboratories

Paints and stains: Benjamin Moore

Solid surfacing: Dupont Corian

Chairs: R20th Century, Knoll

Interior ambient lighting: Luceplan, Louis Poulsen, Optolum, Inc., Seemlesline Architectural Lighting

Downlights: Nulux, Iris, Specialty Lighting

Dimming System or other lighting controls: Lutron

AF New York, Dornbracht, Duravit

Energy management or building automation system: Aprilaire

Other unique products that contribute to sustainability:
Geothermal Heat Pump System: FHP Manufacturing

Radiant Floor Heating: Warmboard, Inc.

Motorized Solar Shades: Lutron