What does it look like when a home’s interior is more important than its exterior? Steven Holl Architects, a New York–based firm, provided one answer to that question through their design of a secluded cabin, in Rhinebeck, New York. Completed in 2016, the home was recently featured in the newest episode of Unique Spaces, a YouTube series for AD. “We were interested in the interiors, and we called the projects ‘Explorations of In,’’’ Steven Holl, principal architect, says of the project in the video.
In the episode, Holl explains that the home started more as research and an experimental project for the studio. Largely inspired by Peter Sloterdijk’s writings on spheres, the cabin’s structure is in the shape of a trapezoid intersected by various circular cutouts. Offering a walkthrough of the space, Dimitra Tsachrelia, an associate architect who contributed to the design of the home, points out that every room in the cabin connects to the next. “One leads to another,” she says, “and as you come into the space, you realize that the whole thing opens up and turns around you.”
On the ground floor, guests enter through the front door, which immediately opens into an east-facing sphere with wooden walls. A few steps take you into the 980 square-foot living room, a few more lead into the kitchen and dining room area.
Upstairs, viewers find the main sleeping areas, which aren’t necessarily rooms, but private areas that the geometry of the house sections off. A queen-size bed on the second floor looks out over a west-facing window sphere, designed to bring in the last sunrays of the day. Around the corner, Tsachrelia leads us to what looks like globe-shaped steps with a twin-size mattress at the top. This area is actually the other side of the entrance sphere, and once on the mattress, visitors can look down onto the first floor.
In addition the cabin’s unique aesthetics, ecological considerations were a major aspect of the design. The cabin features closed-cell insulation, all of the wood is natural without any finishes, and the property makes use of a geothermal heating and cooling system. To see all of dreamy details of this light-filled, wooden wonder, check out the full episode on AD’s YouTube channel.