Putney Mountain House: Vermont Home

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Putney Mountain House : Vermont Architecture

Residential Development Vermont – design by Kyu Sung Woo Architects, USA

May 12, 2009

Putney Mountain Property

Location: Putney, Vermont, USA

Design: Kyu Sung Woo Architects

Program: Multi-generation family retreat

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photos : Wayne Fuji’i

Putney Mountain Residence

Situated on the south and west facing slopes of Putney Mountain, Vermont this house engages the landscape and reinterprets the simple volumes of Vermont rural architecture. Three clearings in the forest punctuate the long gravel driveway and provide views of meadow, pond and house. In the final clearing, the house is broken into three volumes arrayed around a large rock outcropping with open spaces that frame vistas of the Green Mountains. The volumes follow the contours of the slope stepping up the hill to engage the site while a planned addition will continue the sweep of the volumes along the slope.

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photos : Timothy Hursley

Each volume has a distinct programmatic function: a shed volume serves as a workshop and storage outbuilding, and two connected volumes form the main living quarters of the house: one volume serves as private family living space and the other serves as a public studio and meditation space. The house provides a weekend gathering place for three generations of family from around the region. Three main bedrooms are arranged to provide privacy while children’s rooms with play lofts are integrated with the public areas.

The house is designed for maximum contact with the exterior while protecting the occupants from the harsh winters and hot summer days of southern Vermont. Three outdoor spaces, each with a unique exposure, allow connection to the environment throughout the day. A south facing sliding glass wall extends the kitchen / dining space outdoors with an eighteen foot clear opening. The studio space extends west through a sliding glass door to a wood-lined screen porch and a view of the mountain forests beyond. A shaded stepped central gravel courtyard provides relief from the sun on summer days. Narrow window openings on the north walls protect the house from winter winds while promoting cross ventilation in the summer months.

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photos : Timothy Hursley

The exterior reinterprets local building materials with stained Western Red Cedar siding and corrugated steel. On the interior, the studio space is minimally detailed with white plaster walls and an acoustic fabric ceiling for piano recitals while the living quarters are selectively clad in local granite, maple and mahogany woods to impart a feeling of warmth. The building is framed entirely in dimensional lumber with a prefabricated wood truss providing a large span opening at the kitchen / dining area.

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photos : Wayne Fuji’i

In keeping with the sensitive and isolated site, the house is off the grid with roof-mounted photovoltaic panels providing electricity. Thick walls are encapsulated by high performance insulation and staggered wood stud construction minimizes thermal bridging to the interior in the winter months. Large aluminum windows admit abundant natural light to counteract Vermont’s short winter days while overhangs provide summer shading. Wood stoves fueled with felled trees from the site are supplemented by radiant heat floors.

Vermont Home
photo : Kyu Sung Woo Architects

Putney Mountain House – Building Information

Architects: Kyu Sung Woo Architects, Inc.
Principal Architects: Kyu Sung Woo, (Principal); Brett Bentson, (Project Architect); Choon Choi; Katie Wirtz
Structural Engineering: Richmond So Engineers
Contractor: Vermont Homestead, Inc.
Client: Kyu Sung Woo, Architect
Project Size: 4,000 sf
Each Floor Area: First Floor: 1800sf (167m2); Second Floor: 1400sf (130m2); Shed: 800sf (74m2)
Total Floor Area: 4000sf (371m2) Total net area
Building Area: 4860sf (450m2) Total gross area
Location: Putney, Vermont, USA
Design Phase: 2005-07
Construction Phase: 2006-08
Structure: Dimensional lumber, prefabricated wood truss, concrete foundation
Major building materials: Western Red Cedar, corrugated galvanized steel, aluminum windows, Vermont granite, maple, mahogany
Electrical system: 4.8kW photovoltaic solar panel array

Putney Mountain House Vermont House Vermont House Vermont House Vermont House
photos : Timothy Hursley

Vermont Residence images / information from Kyu Sung Woo Architects

Kyu Sung Woo Architects


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