The estate is located in a 22-acre family compound which is integrated into a forested hillside with panoramic southwesterly views over the Hudson River in Croton-on-Hudson, New York. The owners – two brothers and their wives, who are artists and collectors – retained Rene Robert Mueller Architect/Planner in August 2000 to design a major project consisting of an Atelier (studio), Engineerum (private museum), Retreat (which won an AIA Honor Award in 2009), and a major renovation of the Main Residence. The assignment to plan and construct these individual projects on the compound lasted 9 years and was successfully completed at the end of 2009.
The Main Residence is integrated into the upper portion of the forested hilltop on the estate with a panoramic southwesterly view to the Hudson River. The clients wanted to fulfill their dream of renovating and expanding their childhood vacation home in an environmentally sensitive way. They wanted to create a new full-time home that would allow them to fully appreciate their natural surroundings as well as utilize and enjoy the atelier and private museum that had by this time already been established on the estate. The new structure incorporates a full-time residence for one brother and his wife, common entertainment and relaxation space to be used by both brothers and their spouses, and living quarters for the estate’s caretaker. The client wished to incorporate the original foundation and bearing walls into the new residence for sentimental reasons as well as because of their interest in sustainability. The pre-existing building was a one-story 4,200 sq. ft. cinderblock and concrete panel structure. The new 7,200 sq. ft. residence is fully powered by geothermal energy, and has an extensive cistern system that enables the owner to utilize rainwater for all property irrigation requirements year-round without accessing the public potable water supply.
The design phase for this portion of the project took 24 months; the construction phase lasted 18 months.