Written by: VISUALHOUSE
Photography: Paul Warchol and Thomas Loof
House in Ghent is a weekend house compound, perched on a rock overlooking the rolling hills of the Hudson River Valley in rural Ghent, New York.
Designed by female architect Toshiko Mori, the concept of the project is to have a minimal footprint on the land, reducing the impact of a single larger house by absorbing smaller pavilions into the landscape. Drawing inspiration from some of the country’s best-known glass dwellings, among them Mies van der Rohe’s Farnsworth House and Philip Johnson’s Glass House, each of the four pavilions is an iteration of the archetypal ‘glass house’ typology with its own unique approach to the relationship between transparent and opaque materials.
The superimposition of the pavilions and glass house typologies proposes a compact and sustainable lifestyle. Unused pavilions can be shut down through sophisticated environmental control systems to minimize energy use and reduce carbon footprint. The project also takes advantage of sustainable mechanical systems, including a geothermal heat pump and in-slab radiant heating.
Furniture throughout the home also reflects the classically minimal style with black leather seating by Dieter Rams, a Mies van der Rohe cocktail table, molded-plastic chairs by Maarten van Severen and a Jean Prouvé stainless-steel dining table.
By reinventing the glass house, Toshiko Mori improved upon practicality and provided more living space while retaining the sleek aesthetic of this Hudson Valley compound.