As the birthplace of American landscape painting, the Hudson River Valley has long been a refuge from the city and a laboratory for new aesthetic expression. Today, thanks to its renewed reputation as a weekend utopia, architects are extending that tradition into the built environment. Designing residences that revere local climate, landscape, and history in a distinctly modernist language, these talents are sowing a new Hudson River school of architectural thought.
Hudson Modern surveys this emerging domestic architecture, featuring nearly twenty houses that integrate with site and region through composition, scale, and materials, and which strike a balance between innovation and rootedness. A reconstructed midcentury house accented in cedar, walnut, and bluestone by Joel Sanders and landscaped by the late Diana Balmori blurs the edge of habitation and nature. Kieran Timberlake revises the classic vision of a glass box by cladding a home on a rocky site in Pound Ridge in a tapestry of steel, aluminum, copper, and glass. In Rhinebeck, Steven Holl experiments with a radical form that has both ecological and social dimensions.
Author David Sokol presents these and numerous other examples of design-forward residences that are responsive to terrain, building vernacular, and cultural legacy. Together, the new Hudson Valley houses point a way forward for rural living in the twenty-first century.