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Blending Traditional New England Architecture with Modern Design: Skyfall Residence

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Balzer + Tuck Architecture from Saratoga Springs, New York designed the SkyFall Residence on six acres of this upstate New York horse country property to celebrate the slowing rolling hills, views of the Adirondack Mountains and sunsets. Their task was to blend traditional New England architecture with modern elements and open living. At the same time, the owners set out to design something that was built within the context of the property and not intrude on the natural surroundings.

The interior and exterior were designed for comfort and entertaining. The top level encompasses the main living space with an elegant dining area, showcase-worthy front and back kitchen, butler’s pantry, four seasons room and 125 windows to ensure full enjoyment of the spectacular view. The finished lower level includes a guest bedroom suite, home office and theater room with surround sound and wall-to-wall projection screen.

Oak cabinets with vertically matched grain make up the kitchen, dining hutch and entertainment area built-ins. Paired with hardwood floors and a neutral color scheme, the mixed materials work together to reflect the home’s naturally beautiful location. The front kitchen features open shelving to display china and glassware. A back kitchen provides additional utility space, which keeps the front kitchen uncluttered and primed as a gathering space.

In designing this 4,700-square-foot home, designer Leah Margolis from Leah Margolis Design LLC, also from Saratoga Springs, New York, worked with the homeowners to achieve a joint vision of a cohesive space. Margolis introduced the owners to mid-century modern design beginning with an original Saarinen Tulip Table. The table started the ball rolling and they fully embraced it. [Information provided via e-mail by Balzer + Tuck Architecture; Photography by Randall Perry]

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Inside the school, a wall made of cross-laminated timber separates classrooms from the main corridor, providing a space for storage and study. With very little to work with, the architects have managed to create a building that is much more than just the sum of all of its parts

Energy during the construction process was saved by using FSC-certified glulam timber instead of steel to create the building’s distinctive wavy roof, while the store’s external walls use hemclad, a highly innovative insulator made from hemp, which, like all plants, absorbs CO2 from the atmosphere as it grows. An 80,000 litre water tank below ground provides water for the store’s toilets and waters the site’s green wall’, which provides natural insulation, acts as an all-natural pollution filter near the car park, and helps to encourage biodiversity. The result is a building that uses a fraction of the energy of structures of a similar size, and is still very popular with local shoppers.

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