Olana Summer House Exhibit

LOCATION / OLANA ESTATE, NY

EXHIBIT / 2016-2017

This work was executed for an exhibition at the Olana Estate, caretakers of the Hudson River School painter Frederick Church's Olana Estate in the Hudson River Valley. The prompt provided to the invited architects by the foundation was to imagine an architectural folly on an unbuilt site prescribed as a "summer house" in the original plan for the estate.

We chose to situate our proposal on a slope between two walking paths below the main house. The concentric platforms at two levels tie the diverging paths together with a loosely programmed space designed to activate the outdoor character of Church's estate year round while being modest enough to preserve the views that Church himself painted at the estate. 

In summer the upper level can be used as a wading pool, while the lower space functions as a shady outdoor reading nook. In winter the wading pond can be frozen into a skating rink while the lower space can become a sheltered hearth.

We chose to represent the proposal within a pair of Church's existing paintings of the site, using painted figures from other Hudson River School painters as scale figures.