Style and Sensibility: Charlotte Valley Farm

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Inspired by the pastoral landscapes and old farm structures of Charlotte Valley Farm in upstate New York, celebrated architect Peter L. Gluck designed an innovative addition that ushered the property’s original farmhouse into a new era.

At first glance, a Federalist farmhouse in upstate New York displays all the charm and character one would expect from a historic 1795 home. Upon closer inspection, however, the modernist addition created in 1992 challenges any conventional notions about form and function. Designed by internationally acclaimed architect Peter L. Gluck of GLUCK+ in New York, the addition at Charlotte Valley Farm was conceived as a composition of shapes that both contrast and complement the original dwelling.

30037-30039Gluck honored the farmstead’s early American roots while transforming it with new space for the present owners. “The real success of the addition was that it added at least twice the size of the original home without taking anything away,” Gluck notes. While other architects might be tempted to mirror the existing home’s architecture with a new upper level or side wings, Gluck placed a daringly contemporary extension directly onto the back of the home. “The forms could be considered old farmhouse forms, like the sheds and buildings put behind homes when extra space was needed,” a configuration typically seen in antique properties from this era, he noted.

Extending from the home’s 18th century footprint is a glass link to the art gallery, great room, chef’s kitchen, two bedroom master suite, pool pavilion and a sunken garden cleverly positioned to provide outdoor privacy unconstrained by fencing or walls. Infused with natural light and an imaginative use of wood, steel and stone, the addition overlooks sweeping mountain and sunset views framed by expansive window walls.

A spectacular 75-foot lap pool serves as a transitional space between the addition’s main gathering areas and secluded garden. During summer months, a retractable steel and glass wall reveals windswept fields and meadows. Polished beech wood tree columns from the farm’s woodlands were crafted by French artisans, an intuitive decision greenlighted by the architect.

Located about three hours north of New York City, Charlotte Valley Farm is one of the largest certified organic properties in the state. Its 464 acres of pure mountain air, refreshing waterways, actively farmed fields and equestrian facilities make it a multifaceted gem. And the stunning addition? “Like all of our projects, it was a labor of love,” Gluck concludes.

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