Designed by Spanish architect Alberto Campo Baeza. The high transparency of living and dining spaces in Olnick Spanu House are planned on the top of the cement box to get the best view over the landscape, while giving a sense of privacy to the sleeping zone in the solid cement box which is anchored to the ground.
+ Architect’s statement courtesy of Alberto Campo Baeza
GILDING THE LILY
The place is of profound tranquility where after a day of rain and fog an intense light reflects in the stilled mirror of the majestic Hudson River’s deep waters.
A place where twilights are a thousand colors as the water breaks into a thousand reflections. A place where the air is clean and calm, and mild. One could say a place that is very close to heaven.
In this impressive place, we establish a plane, a platform that underlines the landscape before us, seeking to enhance it.
A large long box is thus built, 122 feet long by 54 feet wide by 12 feet high, with sturdy concrete walls that accentuate its relationship to the land. The roof of this box is flat, paved in stone, travertine, so that we may use it.
And to protect ourselves from the sun and rain, over the stone plane we raise a light roof 100 feet long by 40 feet wide by 9 feet tall, held by 10 cylindrical steel pillars that are arranged according to a 20 x 20 foot grid. This roof cantilevers 10 feet along all of its sides. And to make this space habitable, we put a glass box under the roof, an enclosure measuring 94 feet long by 25 feet wide. This glass box contains the back row of columns within it and leaves the front columns outside, in order to further accentuate its transparency.
This construction on the platform resembles a large table with ten legs. Three areas are created within it, divided by two white boxes that do not reach the ceiling, containing the stairs and service spaces. The central space is the living area, and the dining room has a large white table. On one side, closer to the swimming pool, is the kitchen, and on the other side, in the manner of a pensatorio, the area around the hearth.
And below, inside the cement box, the bedrooms and baths are housed. In its central vestibule, connecting the main entrance and the access to the garden, a gallery has been created where pieces of Arte Povera and other pieces of contemporary Italian art are displayed, in addition to other areas around the house.
In all, once again, the hut over the cave. The tectonic piece on top of the stereotomic piece.
+ Technical narrative
The house sits on the footprint of an old shed, where the soil is mainly bedrock. Dynamiting and excavation was required to prepare the concrete footings and two stone walls 15o feet long were built as retaining walls. Freeze line in the area is below 3 feet.
The ground floor structure is a mixed bearing concrete perimeter wall with interior metal columns: the exterior wall was formed with wood planks and poured in one time, with no construction joints.
The upper floor structure is a 20’ by 20’ metal grid of 8” diameter steel columns and the roof cantilevers 10feet on all four sides. The floor slabs are composite metal decks with lightweight concrete, with a radiant heating system embedded.
The roofing system is a single 50 mil ply with on-site welded joints and mechanically fastened. The top roof is pitched with tapered insulation and water is collected in terrace floor, where water runs off through the paving joints
The glass wall designed and fabricated in Houston, TX and the jumbo size glass panes, thermal double laminated glass were specified and manufactured in Spain with low-e and extra clear glass.
Upon completion of curtain wall, all perimeter walls were sprayed with a 6” layer of organic insulation foam. Upon it, the heating system was operational: four boilers provide DSW and all hot water required to feed six manifolds for the radiant heating system embedded in the slabs (24 areas with combined slab sensor/thermostat). The exterior terrace has a separate ice melting system with dedicated manifolds and controls.
The A/C system is supported by five Air Handling Units, three dedicated to the upstairs space, with perimeter floor diffusers, while the return is an open plenum in the lower floor. Ground floor has 1” wide linear diffusers in ceilings and walls.
Interior partitions are 2”x6” wood studs with double gyp board/plywood layer, skim coated and painted. Mechanical rooms are insulated with acoustic boards and sound sealant. Hardwood floors in oak were telescopically leveled, bleached, stained and finished in four coats of polyurethane. All white travertine was cut and shipped from Brazil. Fill ins are done in a dust resin in the same material
All the light system is distributed in 120 areas in 5 Lutron panels, that also control all the shades and black out screens that cover all the glass façade. The sound is distributed by a Crestron system throughout 45 ceiling speakers
+ Project credits / data
GARRISON, NEW YORK (USA)
NANCY OLNICK & GIORGIO SPANU
ARCHITECTS & ENGINEERS
ARCHITECT: ALBERTO CAMPO BAEZA – ESTUDIO ARQUITECTURA CAMPO BAEZA, S.L.
PROJECT MANAGER: MIGUEL GARCIA-QUISMONDO, ARCHITECT
COLLABORATOR: IGNACIO AGUIRRE, ARCHITECT
STUCTURAL ENGINEERS: MICHAEL P. CARR, P.E., MARIA CONCEPTION PEREZ GUTIERREZ, ARCHITECT
MEP ENGINEERS: D’ANTONIO CONSULTING ENGINEERS
GENERAL CONSULTANTS: MASSIMO & LELLA VIGNELLI
LIGHTING CONSULTANT: GARY GORDON, LLC
CONCRETE CONSULTANT: REGINALD D. HOUGH, FAIA
COLOR CONSULTANT: DONALD KAUFMAN & TAFFY DAHL
GLASS CONSULTANT: JUAN JOSÉ PÉREZ PINA, MEL LEBO
2004 DEMOLITION OF OLD STRUCTURE
2005 – 2007 CONSTRUCTION
CONTRACTOR & SITE SUPERVISION: KIMMEL CONSTRUCTION
GLASS CURTAIN: BERGER IRON WORKS
CONCRETE WORK: C & L CONSTRUCTION
STEEL WORK: TINO YANNITTELLI
STONE & MASONRY WORK: GREGORIO & GREGORIO
EARTH WORK: HAROLD LYONS & SONS
WOOD FLOORS: I.J. PEISER’S SONS
MARBLE WORK: NEW CASTLE CONTRACTING CORP
ELECTRIC WORK: PIDALA ELECTRIC
HVAC: HIGHLAND HEATING & COOLING
STAINLESS STEEL WORK: GARRISON FORGE
ROOFING INSTALLATION: PROLINE INDUSTRIES
PAINTING & PLASTER: RAMA INTERIORS
ELECTRONICS, SOUND & CONTROLS: EDG
INTERIOR GLASS & WINDOWS: GLASS SOLUTIONS
ALARM SYSTEM: HAMMOND SECURITY
PHONE SYSTEM: SUPERIOR
HOME LIGHTING & SHADES CONTROLS: LUTRON ELECTRONICS, INC
MEDIA, SOUND & HVAC CONTROLS: CRESTRON ELECTRONICS, INC
MANUFACTURERS & SUPPLIERS
GLASS MANUFACTURER: ARINO DUGLASS, SA (SPAIN)
TRAVERTINE & MARBLE SUPPLIER: MGA INTERNATIONAL (BRAZIL & USA)
WINDOWS MANUFACTURER: OPTIMUM WINDOW MFG, CORP
EXTERIOR DOORS MANUFACTURER: KAWNEER NORTH AMERICA, BERGER IRON WORKS
INTERIOR DOORS MANUFACTURER: TRE-PIU (ITALY)
KITCHEN DESIGN & INSTALLATION: BOFFI USA
CLOSETS DESIGN & INSTALLATION: POLIFORM USA
CABINETRY: MARELLI INTERNATIONAL (ITALY)
BATHROOM FIXTURES: TOTO (JAPAN)
PLUMBING FIXTURES: VOLA (DENMARK)
FURNITURES: KNOLL USA, FLEXFORM USA, UNIFOR USA, EDRA ITALY, MOSS USA, B&B ITALIA, CASSINA, ADELTA
COMPUTERS: APPLE COMPUTERS
PHONE SYSTEM: VODAVI COMMUNICATION SYSTEMS