Northern Boulevard – Yoga Studio and OfficeJanuary 22 2017
Perched spectacularly on a 100-foot cliff overlooking the Hudson River, the original building was a dilapidated three-bay barn that did little other than obstruct the views that were hidden behind it. The concept was to leave the picturesque structure in tact, and allow it to continue in its scenic obstruction. On the inside, a new office was created with a mind-blowing 30-foot panorama window whose length truly captured the linearity of the river.
Although the original barn had no interior interest whatsoever, reclaimed hand-hewn beams and two-inch thick threshing floors were installed to create a textured feel to the otherwise white room. At the center of the office is a built-in desk from a massive Y-shaped slab of walnut made by Sam Moyer Furniture, which is positioned to take in the entire window from one side and the 7-foot touch screen monitor on the other.
The yoga studio was conceived with an entirely different mindset. The owner wanted a building with an unapologetically modern look. Since the property is a farm littered with barns and outbuildings, the concept was conceived to riff off the historic barn vernacular and to turn it on its head.
The yoga studio identical in size and shape to the original barn. Its form is an extruded barn-shape, wrapped in black zinc standing seam cladding. Its deeply recessed facade is stained ipe with a bump-out that references a barn door but in fact houses the steam room inside. On the approach, the building seems to be sitting normally on the ground, but closer up it appears to be impossibly floating above a moat of stone. A four-sided cantilever, the building is in fact built on a very small foundation which the structure overhangs on all sides. At nighttime the building is lit underneath by a linear LED strip that makes the building seem to be floating on a sea of light.
On the inside, the yoga studio opens spectacularly to the river with a multi-slide door that disappears into a wall pocket. The wild cherry cladding is a modified board and batten with shallow triangular battens. The structure was built in steel to avoid having to use collar ties, leaving the cathedral ceiling unobstructed except for a sleek 30-foot custom linear LED pendant light. The steam room is a dome of Venetian plaster with green marble benches and the tiny water closet has stunning recessed sink made of the same material. The illuminated handrails were wrapped in leather–as was the under-lit hallway bench and the shelves in the office–which was a design motif intended to link the materiality of the two very different structures together.
Build: The Art of Building