Hillsdale Screen House
- Lea H. Cloud
Victoria A. Rospond
- Hillsdale, NY
The Hillsdale House is a weekend getaway in upstate New York on the last eastern ridge overlooking both the Berkshires and the Catskills. The approach to the site is heavily veiled without a hint of the views about to be revealed. CDR Studio's response to this dramatic site was to continue screening the view and to reveal it gradually throughout the house. As the scheme developed, we sought to further mediate the long expansive views and to contrast them with views back to the more intimate courtyard landscape to the south.
The house is an "L" shape holding the north and west sides of the courtyard. A white cedar rainscreen skins the house and peels off to create the wood fencing of the south and east sides of the courtyard. Exterior sliding shutters, constructed as solid rain screen, allow the house to be closed down during times when the owners are away. The landscape within the courtyard will be a tended garden, and all else outside the courtyard walls will return to a more raw and natural state.
The two-story core of the house holds the bedrooms, bathrooms and kitchen with single-story public spaces extending off of it — a screened in porch to the south and a large dining and living space to the east. Exterior porches transition and extend the interior living spaces out into the landscape. The eastern end of the living space culminates in a music room, an amateur passion for the clients. The house is sited to take advantage of natural solar heating gains; it’s highly insulated and incorporates solar hot-water panels for radiant-floor heating, solar photovoltaic panels to generate electricity and recycled materials throughout the interiors.