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Weston House

Our clients, a photographer and a writer, approached us to renovate and expand a house originally designed by Joseph Salerno as his own residence. It was important to all that the house maintain its original aesthetic and spatial character. The house now includes an additional bedroom and bath; we also reorganized the primary living and sleeping spaces in a pinwheel configuration around a curved pod containing two baths. A new den extends into an existing courtyard, contributing to a sense of outdoor living that carries throughout the project.

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Kent House - addition

The clients for this project returned to GOA for an addition to their house, built by the office nearly 20 years ago. Working from home during the pandemic prompted our clients’ desire to add dedicated office space to the house. They also wanted additional living space to meet the needs of visiting children and grandchildren. The addition is integrated into the house’s existing planning and circulation, utilizing the footprint of the garage’s flat roof to provide a new guest suite and office space on the second floor. Though most of the rooms in the house look north to a lake through the woods, the addition is orientated to project over a nearby ledge, bringing into focus a seldom experienced part of the surrounding woods.

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Schroon Lake House

Our clients asked us to renovate their lakeside retreat in upstate New York, creating a vacation home appropriate for three generations. We focused on maximizing living space within the existing structure, increasing the overall square footage with a modest 450 SF addition, and providing unobstructed views to the nearby lake. The addition of skylights and large expanses of glazing allowed us to orient the primary living spaces and a new screened porch towards the lake to the south and west, while the house’s secondary spaces look east towards the rest of the wooded property.

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Breakneck Bridge

Spanning 7.5 miles between Cold Spring and Beacon, NY, the Hudson Highlands Fjord Trail is a new multi-modal linear park created by Scenic Hudson along the Hudson River. The trail, with landscape architecture by Scape and buildings and structures by Gray Organschi, will provide visitors with expansive views across the river, as well as access to the region's complex system of waterways, wetlands, highlands and forests. 

The Breakneck Bridge, designed by Gray Organschi in collaboration with structural engineering firm Fast + Epp, serves as a critical point of connection along the Fjord Trail, crossing over the Metro North Railroad tracks and sloping gently toward the riverbank, where it joins the southerly reach of the river's edge trail. Conceived primarily as a pedestrian path, the bridge also provides previously unavailable emergency vehicular access to the riverside stretch of the trail.

In keeping with the broader project goals of cultivating the ecological sublime and foregrounding the region’s landscape, the Breakneck Bridge strives to be visually quiet and elegant, modulating its form along its length to meet various clearance and performance requirements. Its primary structure consists of a slender arched weathering steel box girder, which recalls both the region’s industrial past and the railroad directly below. The bridge deck, a series of glulam timber panels cantilevered beyond the weathering steel arches, is bracketed by a visually minimal stainless steel mesh enclosure, keeping walkers and bikers safe from the railroad, but making way for spectacular views toward Storm King, across the Hudson river. With an emphasis on sustainability and durability, these elements coalesce as part of a prefabricated kit of components, allowing for easy maintenance with minimal disruption to the trail’s visitors and operation. This philosophy is emblematic of our design approach within the Hudson Highlands Fjord Trail as a whole, which aims to avoid excessively extractive industrial processes in favor of a regenerative material palette drawn from local sources, and uses tools and techniques that minimize the disturbance of this irreplaceable landscape and invaluable environmental resource.

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Up Island House

Our office was tasked with designing a residence for a couple and their family that occupies an extremely limited buildable area due to a confluence of zoning setbacks. The final massing responds to these site constraints by molding itself along these setbacks, producing two gabled structures oriented towards important views of the surrounding landscape. A lap pool between the buildings acts as a focal point for the primary outdoor space as well as providing privacy between the 4-bedroom main house and a separate guest house with wellness studio.

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IDEAS Children's Center

The IDEAS Children’s Center campus is a new construction project consisting of a 20,000 SF building serving 200 children, aged 2-6. Situated on approximately 5 acres in Virginia, the preschool prototype is a 1-story building that contains 10 studios, staff offices and lounge, a large multipurpose room, an entrance and reception area, and furnished hallways to accommodate student activities. The project is intended to serve as a prototype for future preschool campus developments in the Mid-Atlantic region.

Seeking a spatial strategy that embodies the project’s goal for construction simplicity, the prototypical design approach utilizes a flexible structural module constructed from prefabricated mass timber assemblies. Insulated mass timber “cassette” panels create the gable roof, spanning up to 40’ without intermediate supports. The cassettes are designed to meet standard shipping dimensions, allowing the structure to be fabricated off-site and therefore minimizing on-site construction time. Recognizing the potential to replicate the prototypical architectural approach for a series of campuses, the school features a catalogue of building components that can be arranged and aggregated in a number of configurations. As a flexible, adaptable architectural system, the base building modules are capable of producing a wide range of morphologies that can accommodate varying programmatic needs and site conditions.

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Menemsha House

Our clients, a New York City-based couple, asked us to develop their vacation property in Martha’s Vineyard to include a 5-bedroom main house, a pool house, and a 2-bedroom guest house. Taking inspiration from the vernacular gabled roof, the main house is made up of two long gabled volumes connected across a central circulation core and rotated to take advantage of views of the nearby pond and other special landscape moments. Dormer windows on the second floor are used to provide additional living space while keeping the building’s massing within the Town’s zoning and setback restrictions.  

Windham House

This 4500 SF winter home is embedded in a hillside on a 20-acre property and features views of nearby mountains. It is designed to be entirely prefabricated offsite, allowing the construction and installation process to proceed throughout the winter. The exposed glulam structure results in Douglas fir interior finishes throughout and produces a warm wood interior appropriate for this ski house.

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340+ Dixwell

As New Haven’s economy has improved in recent years and as the city center has attracted more residents, New Haven has come up short on housing stock, achieving a vacancy rate among the lowest in the country and, subsequently, elevated rents in a growing area around downtown. We believe it is critical for new affordable and attainable housing developments to not only provide economically viable alternatives to an increasingly inaccessible residential rental market, but to create safe, beautiful, and healthy dwellings that are integrated into the local community. 

Traditionally, affordable housing developments require significant financial investments to create durable and attractive projects, often balancing the cost of conventional structural materials and construction labor with the desire for convivial, well-designed buildings. Mass timber structural assemblies offer an innovative, sustainable, and cost-effective strategy to produce beautiful, durable buildings that benefit both the inhabitants, the neighborhood, and the regional economy.

Teaming up with architects Schadler Selnau Associates and local affordable housing and community development nonprofit Beulah Land Development Corporation, our objective in this project is to improve a large vacant site on a prominent intersection in New Haven's Dixwell neighborhood by bringing the property to its highest and best use as approximately 70 units of affordable housing and ground-floor commercial space. The project is funded partially by a US Forest Service Wood Innovation Grant, for its proposal to build affordable housing with mass timber structural systems. By using mass timber, we will promote environmental health of the planet, long-term health benefits for residents, and the resilience of local communities. 

The construction of a mass timber building at this scale in one of New Haven's economically disadvantaged neighborhoods will facilitate training for the local workforce in these emerging material systems and methods, promoting new job opportunities and marketable technological expertise. It will create a new and replicable system for the delivery and construction of distinctive, quality housing, catalyzing local product manufacturing in the renewable construction sector to meet the building demands of an urbanizing population in need of affordable, healthy housing

340+ Dixwell will serve as a neighborhood anchor and a model of sustainable construction practices. We consider it a pivotal opportunity to broaden the social, health, and economic potential of affordable housing construction, leveraging the unique capacities and assets of mass timber assemblies to benefit Dixwell, New Haven, and the state of Connecticut.

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Acme Lofts

New Haven’s Ninth Square district has beena locus of industry, culture, and design for centuries. Through the adaptation of a historic masonry building and an innovative expansion with mass timber construction technologies, ACME Lofts will integrate contemporary architectural design and environmentally sensitive building practices into the historic, industrial fabric of New Haven’s city center.

ACME Lofts embraces New England’s rich manufacturing heritage and the extensive forest systems that surround its urban centers. By developing a unique timber construction solution ideal for historic city centers, ACME offers a model for future development in which mass timber structural systems, and the sustainable forestry practices and material science that support them, create a new synergy between dense cities, healthy forests, and a thriving industrial economy based in wood.

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Starlight Park Comfort Station

Starlight Park, occupying a narrow sliver of land located between the Sheridan Parkway and the Bronx River, is now a vibrant community space primarily serving the neighborhood of Fairmont-Claremont Village to its west.  In addition the Bronx River Greenway, a continuous 23 mile bike and pedestrian path, runs along the eastern edge of Starlight Park thereby making it accessible to a much larger population. The Park includes a playground with extensive play equipment and landform mounds for children to run and roll on; a full-size soccer field with two baseball fields included within its boundaries; the Bronx River Greenway; and a future boathouse at its south end.

The new building is a park comfort station that will provide women’s and men’s restrooms, a garage for storage of park utility equipment, and an office for personnel.  The building will be located on Northwest side of the park at the midpoint of the soccer field.

In order to maximize visibility of this modestly sized building, our approach is to create innovative massing and a noticeable shape to make it visible to users. Its massing includes two tall hip-roofed forms canted to the interior creating tall vertical walls around the exterior of the simple rectangular plan giving the building an increased presence in the park. Rainwater is channeled at the gutter between the forms into a rain garden to the southeast of the building. The tall cones are toplit, bringing daylight into each restroom and into the garage/office.

The building is clad in colored glazed brick; it is roofed with zinc panels. Both materials have been selected for their durability and ease of application to the building’s form.  The skylights allow for natural lighting in all spaces, reducing the electrical load of the building.

To increase the connection to the athletic field a sloped path and stair from the lower field level connects to the plaza at the restroom level mitigate the 4’ grade change.