The site of the McCann residence is located in Tuxedo Park, New York. Developed in 1885 as a country resort oriented around three glacial lakes, Tuxedo Park is an illustrious setting distinguished by a number of estates designed by prominent architects at the turn of the century. Dense forests, dramatic rock outcroppings, and pronounced topography characterize this rugged timberland landscape in the Catskill Mountains.
Two massive granite escarpments define this steeply sloping site, located within view of Tuxedo Lake. The location of the rock outcroppings and sectional character of the topography were key elements in the siting and design of the house. Additionally, the critical consideration of water run-off on the steeply sloping site further influenced the sectional development of the design.
The site's topography is metered by a series of new stone retaining walls quarried on site. These retaining walls define program areas, shape outdoor terraces and decelerate water runoff into the lake below thereby conserving soil and water. The terraced gardens have been planted with a mix of local plants including ferns, mosses, mountain laurel, ash and oak trees. Apertures are calibrated to vary from more opaque at the lowest utilitarian level to more transparent at the uppermost level.
An ascending route organizes the design, defining the house's program zones in section and linking the house to a series of outdoor terraces. The lower garden level includes a garden room and storage areas. An exterior stepped ramp ascends to the main entry level that includes entry foyer, library, and second bedroom. From here, a double-height stair hall connects to the upper garden level, an open loft-like setting that includes primary living spaces. This level is an ascending series of platforms for kitchen/dining, master bath and master bedroom that open to the gardens. Together, these indoor/outdoor terraces form an open-air "room" defined by the arc of the house and the vertical granite outcropping. The house embeds itself into the hill, becoming an inhabitable topography that is open to panoramic views of the lake and hills beyond.
Location: Tuxedo Park, New York
Estimated Completion: 2012
The site of the McCann residence is located in Tuxedo Park, New York. Developed in 1885 as a country resort oriented around three glacial lakes, Tuxedo Park is an illustrious setting distinguished by a number of estates designed by prominent architects at the turn of the century. Dense for