Glass Hudson Pool House by dtls Architecture on Airbnb – COOL HUNTING®
This is probably the dream of anyone who has visited a glass house by day to spend the night (or more). Thanks to Airbnb, this is a possibility. dtls.ARCHITECTUREis modern, magical Hudson Pool House can be booked through the reception service, which may surprise anyone not familiar with their list of houses of architectural significance. But the Hudson Pool House is more than a contemporary translation of the values of the Stahl House in Los Angeles, or Pierre Koenig’s Case Study House program from 1960; it is the home of dtls founder Mark Bearak and his family, which means it was designed to be inhabited. And that makes all the difference.
“I did the architecture, the general planning and the orientation,” Bearak tells us, after our stay at the Hudson Pool House, which sits in scenic grounds just minutes from downtown Hudson, New York. “My husband, Mike [Moore], he took care of all the technology and the pool. It was this collaboration between us. We originally designed this house for a very small family, but our family has continued to grow and we continue to cram more and more children into it. It became a comfortable getaway for us. Two spacious bedrooms flank a central living space, which includes a well-equipped kitchen and an elegant dining and living room, which are separated by a fireplace.
The house is an undeniable extension of Bearak’s practice which, when working with others, is defined by a two-pronged approach. “We do 30 to 40 projects a year,” he says. “We offer a dedicated approach to collaboration. This means that all of our projects reflect our clients, their tastes and their priorities. We mix that up with whatever space they have. We have a very light touch.
“When we designed this house for ourselves, we didn’t have a client to confide in. We created a fictitious client to develop a project that had texture, that made sense, ”says Bearak. “We looked at the historic Case Study Movement, which was very popular in California. It was a time when architects also designed houses for fictitious clients. They invented their own program and their own constraints and they used them to develop new methodologies. For our house, we looked at the fundamentals of minimalism, efficiency and materials.
It was no small feat, translating these values into a year-round home in the Hudson Valley. “Glass houses are an exercise in architectural dedication,” he continues. “They are incredibly special to visit, even though the Farnsworth House Where the glass house, but they are all victims of their own simplicity. They were not always habitable spaces. It’s really hard to think of how you can make a house that is all glass but with all the creature comforts that make up a house. To achieve this, especially when it comes to privacy, Bearak has found ways to integrate technology into areas without distracting from the concept, including floor-to-ceiling automated shades that slip into a built-in pocket that really conceals them.
Many other function-oriented decisions contribute to the Hudson Pool House experience, such as the heated floor or the high-speed air conditioning system that circulates air through small ducts. It really is a glass house for all seasons. Additionally, many of the materials and design elements that populate the space are either local or ready to use.
“One of the real pillars of the case study movement, which we wanted to stick with, was understanding the importance of local manufacturers, local materials and locally available products,” says Bearak. “The farthest thing we had shipped was the dining room table, which came from North Carolina. It is important to think of the design in context.
When it comes to furniture, which people will easily identify, says Bearak: “A lot of it is a mix of vintage pieces, local custom items and store-bought goods. Everything had to match a certain vibe: minimalist and a bit rough around the edges. The kitchen light fixture was made from parts from the hardware store. It is completed by a unique luminaire of its kind by Lindsey Adelman. All this adheres to the concept of the house.
From the surround sound system to the lights and shades, the whole house is controlled by a set of iPads, placed around the house. Learned, the smart home app, ties it all together. “My husband has a background in programming and technology,” says Bearak. “He thought it would be a good opportunity to use our house as a testing platform for all the other projects we were doing in the city. Our collaborators from Lutron at Savant were eager to work with us on the development of a hybrid home. They have optimized the home in every way imaginable, right down to fiber optic internet.
The swimming pool is of such importance that it fits into the name of the house itself. “We were able to constantly strengthen the connection between the pool and the hot tub and the house,” says Bearak. “We wanted to see the water in every room.” With all the doors open, a passage opens from the pool to the hot tub, both psychically and visually. In addition, a fence of stacked stones engraves itself into the ridge and becomes a retaining wall. A view extends in front of everything.
“We chose this pool house site because of the connection to the land itself,” says Bearak. “We oriented the house to capitalize on the view and the sunset, the same way the Stahl house did.”
The pool house is only part of their vision. “The house we built is also the brain of the whole property. Everything is positioned along a ridge. This ridge has all of our electricity, gas and generator. By doing this, we can radiate smaller structures, up to 200 feet away. Bearak plans to expand the property to accommodate his growing family, with ancillary spaces that work in harmony with the greenhouse.
Hudson and the surrounding area, which continues to gain popularity for its farm-to-table dining scene and natural beauty, give the home extra meaning. Bearak’s husband stumbled across this plot of land while trying to find a gym while they were visiting friends. The street itself attracted them, as did the city’s culinary and creative options, from Lil Deb’s Oasis To The Maker Hotel.
That said, they found a friendly, close-knit community along their route that includes Chief Kyle Waltz, who visited us during our stay. Waltz (who personally picked Norwegian spruce pods for a leafy salad he made for us) is available for hire to cook meals for anyone who book the Hudson Pool House. His expertly crafted cuisine used all local ingredients and charmed us.
As to how they ended up listing their home on Airbnb, Bearak says, “After the first year, we realized that this is a house and that a house needs to be inhabited. We only used it two days a month. We realized that we could better keep an eye on how the house worked if people were using it. He says the homes are to be enjoyed and the Airbnb community has been fantastic. Unsurprisingly, some of the people who stayed at the Hudson Pool House have since become clients of dtls.
Brian Chesky, co-founder of Airbnb, tells us they are “special because we provide a unique, hosted experience. Something that cannot be replicated elsewhere. Architecturally significant homes on Airbnb reflect the creative community of hosts on our platform, from architects themselves to designers and artists. These homes allow us to celebrate and pay homage to the legacy of incredible architects of the past and present.
At present, Bearak is immersed in another side project through his practice, called Open source. “We designed three houses,” he says, “and we shared everything about them online. The idea is that if you have a design, you have to share it and let people hack it and reinterpret it. It’s like a piece of code. This reflects the sentiment of the case studies movement. And this is a further affirmation of the thoughtful vision of the imagination behind a pleasant glass house.
Image of the hero by David Graver