Thomas Gluck, principal of GLUCK+ built this wonderful modern Tower House on his family's land in the Catskills of New York State. The land is owned by Gluck’s father, Peter, and it has served as a space for the family of architects to design and build follies since 1972. The most impressive characteristic of the Tower House is its cantilevered structure, which makes the residence perhaps the most modern single-family “treehouse”ever built.
The four-story Tower House was designed as a single-family home in a skyscraper’s body. The vertical tower rises from a narrow 14 foot footprint, and a horizontal, cantilevered volume bisects the fourth floor to create this “adult tree house”. GLUCK+ did not put this proposed residence together based on conjecture – the firm erected a 50-foot-tall scaffolding prior to design in order to verify the views. With their hypothesis confirmed, the design firm continued with this dream home as planned.
The cantilevered structure houses the home’s common spaces, which include the living room and kitchen. The vertical tower houses the rest of the home’s features, and it is split into three modules. The first module is the yellow circulation tower or zigzagging stairs. A wet core makes up the middle module, which holds all the bathrooms and heating for the building. The last module includes three stories of bedrooms, which all have tremendous views of the mountains.
The designers placed a high priority on green building strategies because the home has a seasonal use pattern that necessitates high-efficiency systems. The building’s program is organized in an efficient manner; the concentration of the utilities in the insulated core helped to isolate these services so that heating during the winter is only applied to 28% of the homes square footage. Due to the Catskills temperate climate, the bedrooms were oriented to make use of natural breezes, while the stairwell serves as a “solar chimney” that helps to evacuate hot air out of the house to cool the living spaces during the summer.
Via Fast Co. Design