High in the Catskill Mountains of Hudson Valley, NY a small 1960s ranch-style house sat on 80 acres of land. After years of frustration due to the steep hill and treacherous driveway, the family hired MMA to design their bold vision: a legacy property where multiple generations could gather, stay and enjoy family time together.
The owner was able to secure a serene vacant lot in an established neighborhood in the City of Grand Rapids, which backs on to a beautiful wooded parcel to the north. The goal of the project was first and foremost to design a home that met contextual needs from the street-side, but took full advantage of the unique natural setting in the rear. MMA saw the opportunity for horizontal extension of the residence to quiet the home and ground it into its surroundings, and in so doing maximize rear courtyard space for a homeowner who has long term permaculture aspirations. A detached garage was used to take full advantage of side-setback requirements. Additionally, the garage completes the open courtyard and creates an open moment of outdoor reception to the secluded outdoor space. The L-shaped plan form created a simple diagram for living–a public arm of space that includes the mudroom, kitchen, dining, and living room, then a private arm of space with office, bedrooms and bathrooms. To accentuate the difference in use and experience, a 12 ft high wood ceiling space covers the public area, allowing ample clerestory light, while a lower ceiling provides intimacy, punctuated by skylights, in the […]
The family intelligently acquired a piece of property whose natural attributes eclipsed its suburban surroundings. The lot lines create a compressed, modest street presence and then expand in a gesture to the unique pointed setting on the Thornapple River, with a 200 degree water view. The concept of a long, welcoming landscape to a house that re-dramatizes the opening to a river view was foundational for the design process. Thinking about the house as a threshold to the river experience was an organizational tool for the project. A three story central core is a quotation of the outdoors—a large interior void around which all the individual uses of the house are organized. The core welcomes, but also negotiates egress between offset levels on either side. A large semi-public living room with high ceilings and prominent river views couple with the Master suite above to comprise the southern half of the house. Family function is supported to north: an expansive casual living, dining, and kitchen area on the main level, and children’s bedrooms and play area on the second level. At the highest point of the house, the third level provides multi-directional views and is reserved for focused work, reflection, wellness, […]