In New York’s Hudson Valley, Westchester County is renowned for its pastoral landscape. It was this bucolic setting that Carol Kurth — architect, interior designer and principal of local studio Carol Kurth Architecture + Interiors — looked to emphasize in the recent residence Art House 2.0.
Comprised of opaque volumes wrapped in local ashlar stone, interspersed with long glazed expanses and sheltered by horizontal cedar-clad overhangs, the striking passive solar residence appears enmeshed with its surroundings. To provide this seamless flow from outside to in, the designer turned to a number of Western Window Systems‘ modern and versatile architectural products to achieve the refined, gallery-like environ.
Like its moniker suggests, the complex was designed for a pair of passionate collectors to house their rich trove of modern art and furnishings. When conceiving the structure, Kurth knew that the couple’s latest acquisition — the woodlands enveloping the site — had to be as integral to the project as the vibrant works within.
“We wanted the home to be very well illuminated with natural light and to really maximize our sightlines,” she says of this second residence for the duo, conceived with an eye toward aging in place. “The Western Window Systems products really worked for us in that regard, because we were able to have minimal frames everywhere, providing the maximum amount of visuals with the edge-to-edge glass effect.”
Using the flexible, floor-to-ceiling Series 600 Window Wall, Kurth was able to achieve the desired expanses of glass, all with the added ability to easily integrate a multitude of openings within — from hinged and sliding doors to a plethora of window styles. For instance, the full-height Series 900 Hinged Door at the entrance gracefully ushers visitors inside while fitting perfectly within the overall glazing system.
“We wanted the front door to have transparency, so you could see right through the home,” she says of the threshold. “We were able to do this with the components from Western Windows Systems.” The product line also provides another crucial function: carefully meeting the indigenous stone exterior in a way that felt both refined and unobtrusive.
Elsewhere, Kurth integrated the minimal Series 600 Multi-Slide Door to similarly frame long vistas across the property. The large, unobstructed rolling glass panels create broad openings that effortlessly merge nature and architecture.
With almost endless configurations, heights up to 12 feet, a slim profile and high-performance hardware, the product perfectly aligned with the architect’s intension to create generous panoramas. “The hardware is very clean and integrated,” she says, “to give it a much more modern, minimalist look.”
Selecting such an adaptable product as the Series 600 Multi-Slide Door was a no-brainer, as it allowed for maximum transparency with the added benefit of screens for each door. “For a lot of manufacturers, those are after-market options,” Kurth explains. “It just worked for us on all accounts.”
Alongside the clean design that frames the sculptures peppered throughout the landscape as well as those within, the product’s dual-paned low-E glass lets light flood the interior while limiting heat gain. Its energy-efficient thermally broken aluminum frame further helped the structure achieve its sustainable targets. “It was very important to us that the product was thermally broken,” she emphasizes.
As Kurth further explains: “In our previous experience with the same client, a lot of this technology had not been developed yet. These advances — both in the frame manufacturing and the thermally broken elements — combined to result in an incredibly energy-efficient home for the client.”
For the architect, it wasn’t simply the environmentally-conscious and tailored appearance that attracted her to these products. Ultimately, it was Western Window Systems’ holistic approach and customizable offering, which would prove invaluable to the project’s success.
“There was a tremendous amount of interaction between us, the contractors at Legacy Construction and Western Window Systems, checking, double-checking and going through the nuanced particulars of the design that made the home feel so impeccable,” she recalls. “We had an ongoing dialogue and there was a lot of ingenuity. The team was very attuned to making this an efficient project.”
Rising out of the landscape, Art House 2.0 deftly captures the spirit of its locale, blending art and nature with the vibrant lives of the residents who call it home. “Due to the narrow sightlines of these Western Window Systems elements,” Kurth concludes, “we were able to achieve this inside/outside quality.”
Thanks to a sophisticated glazing system, it’s also a dazzling work of art in its own right.
This content was published by Azure on behalf of Western Window Systems.
In Westchester County, Carol Kurth Architecture + Interiors brings the outside in with a striking residence that doubles as a gallery.