Property: The Sleeve House, Columbia County
Description: The Sleeve House sits—almost vulnerably so—in a green expanse of a lawn, calling to mind the sculptures of Alexander Calder at the Storm King Art Center some 50 miles southwest. Looking beyond the austere façade, one finds a delicate, yet intentional balance between public and private space.
This juxtaposition is created and maintained in part by the building’s composition: one large, open space acts as a sleeve for the smaller, private volume (hence the name). The atmospheric distinction is reinforced materially; in the larger space—let’s call it “the sleeve”— exposed concrete and charred wood are the primary constituents, whereas the private area is comprised of softer elements. It’s a “best of both worlds” property, joining the stark brilliance of the sleeve with a homier inner retreat.
The dramatic entry to the sleeve leads to the living room, where a suspended wood-burning fireplace looms as a dominant feature, flanked by lounge chairs of leather and wood. Ascend the concrete staircase and take a seat at the dining counter, from which one can easily converse with whomever is hard at work in the kitchen. A single large sink marks where the dining counter ends and the kitchen counter begins.
Aside from the kitchen’s ceiling—which evokes the same linear rhythm as the building’s exterior—the surfaces are bare, inviting adornment. The concrete slabs that support the inner space also create a sense of privacy between the living room and the kitchen, though the segregation is subverted by a small dining area, from which the living room and kitchen are both accessible.
The entire sleeve remains, in the words of the architect himself, “in the outer volume after the inner has been inserted into it.” That is to say that, while the public space is a shelter, it’s also existentially linked to the outside world.
A large, suspended staircase connects the sleeve to the heart of the residence. The inner space, while nested within the sleeve, does not feel closed off from the landscape. Instead, the interior is washed with natural light, a view of the Catskills framed by triple-paned glass windows. In warmer months, step out onto one of the two private balconies and soak in sprawling views of the 46-acre property.
For all the grandeur of The Sleeve House, its bedrooms and bathrooms are unassuming, allowing the style of its inhabitants to take precedence. If you’re worried that the many windows will make for a drafty winter, you needn’t—the heat and energy recovery ventilation system guarantees a temperate environment 365 days of the year. All the home’s electricity is sourced from a solar collection system, making this a truly sustainable structure.
Outside, there is no shortage of terrain to explore, between the lush forestry and manicured swaths of grass. The 2,500-sq-ft Sleeve House rests bare against Mother Nature with a weathered façade, evoking the image of agricultural buildings, barns, and silos that define the Valley’s landscape—albeit with a modern twist.
Asking price: $2,275,000
Selling points: The Sleeve House has been built to stand the test of time by master craftsmen using sustainable, yet durable materials like Accoya wood. The home is offered turnkey, with high-quality furnishings to match the architectural qualities of the building, in collaboration with home and lifestyle brand Hammertown Barn. The property is secluded, though conveniently located 20 minutes from Hudson and Millerton and two hours from New York City.
Team: The Lillie K. Team at Four Seasons Sotheby’s International Realty
Architect: Adam Dayem, actual/office
Interior styling: Julie Wallach