Site The edge of a constructed pond, on a wooded south-sloping hill.

Program Single-family weekend retreat.

Solution Designed for a family of five, this 1,950-square-foot weekend retreat sits in the outskirts of Austerlitz, a town about a three-hour drive upstate from New York City. The bucolic site lies at the convergence of two diverse conditions: a forested hillside and a constructed pond, both overlooking a panoramic vista in the distance. In order to capture the views, New York–based Dean/Wolf Architects curved the house in plan, allowing the building’s steel structure to sit on concrete foundations along the pond’s edge, an effect which impressed the jury. “What makes this project attractive is the way the building embraces the pond,” juror Joseph Rosa said. Except for a patio that bisects the house, from pond to forest, the forest-side elevation is kept mostly opaque, directing the eye out through the lakeside façade. Glazing on that elevation capitalizes on the site’s over-water views; the interior is partitioned such that each room creates a sight line to the center of the pond and beyond.

Project Credits

Ephemeral Edge, Austerlitz, New York
Architect  Dean/Wolf Architects, New York—Kathryn Dean, AIA (design partner); Charles Wolf (partner); Christopher Kroner (project designer); Zachary Rousou (designer)
Structural Engineering  Hage Engineering—Mark Hage (president); Richard Lee (principal); Ciro Cuono (senior engineer and associate)
Geotechnical Engineering  Crawford and Associates—Dan Proper (senior soils scientist)
General Contractor  Quadresign—David Haust (president)
Size  1,950 square feet