hollow house :: ground up construction :: 2016-2019

The Hollow House is based on a simple idea – a rectilinear volume with a hole cut completely through it. Orienting the hollow cut volume at an oblique to the rectilinear volume puts conventional domestic space planning in tension with unconventional form. From the exterior, the house is perceived as a strange reinterpretation of the courtyard typology, instead of an outdoor living space, the void is a physically inaccessible shaft pointed toward the sky. From the interior, the hollow void is perceived as a solid volume alternately interrupting space to define separate rooms, and stretching space along unexpected axes.

The site is an old agricultural field on an open rolling hillside with dramatic views of the Catskill Mountains in a rural area of New York State’s Hudson Valley. The openness of the site reinforces a reading of the house as an object in the field, not unlike old agricultural buildings, barns or silos seen in the surrounding area.

Rotating interior walls with respect to the exterior envelope is an homage to John Hedjuk’s Diamond House series, but rather than suggest abstract extension of the house into the landscape by cutting exterior edges of space at an oblique as Hedjuk did, openings are shaped and positioned to frame particular parts of the sky and landscape. So instead of becoming perceptually part of the landscape, this house is an instrument through which to observe the surrounding environment. It is a place to experience changing light, weather and seasons.

The main exterior façade material is standard dimension metal siding, applied and finished with non-standard methods. The siding’s oblique orientation along the axis of the hollow cut volume, continuous wrapping around vertical edges of the house, and brown/black matte finish recreate textural qualities of old farm structures with a budget-conscious material. While designed in a contemporary approach to form making, the house is intended to an aesthetic complement to historical agricultural architecture in the Hudson Valley.

project team :: Adam Dayem, Farzam Yazdanseta