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Laps of Luxury The Dream House with an Aquatic Heart by Jennifer Farley | Photos by Deborah Degraffenreid
A Above (top): The builders take pride in the fact that the humidity of the expansive pool wing, drenched in natural light, does not leave perpetual condensation on the walls and ceiling. The bench came from the owner’s previous home in Amagansett. The identical oversized wave ‘paintings’ came from Ikea.
pool is more than a place to swim—whether the focus is sociability or exercise, relationships are built and strengthened by water. In this newly built Putnam County house, the pool forms the emotional center of the home, anchoring the overall design. When the owners of the sunny, four-bedroom, five-bath post-and-beam home, a retired psychiatrist originally from Norway and an educator from New York, imagined their dream retirement abode, they wanted a pool at the nucleus because they benefit physically and emotionally from swimming together an hour a day. But their pool-centric vision proved a conceptual and technical challenge. By the end of the home’s construction, they came to count their architect as a friend. The 6,000-square-foot house, which is recessed into bedrock, is designed to harmonize with its setting. The house is clad at the exterior base with native stone, found and hand-cut onsite. The high-tech synthetic clapboard siding, made of rot- and fire-proof fiber cement board (a stable mixture of sand, cement, and cellulose) is painted a creamy toast color. The metal roof is a soothing fir green. All of the major living spaces face south. Each room has a clear purpose and is exactly large enough and no bigger. One walks beside, not through, the various built-in structural arrangements, such as seating areas and parts of the kitchen.
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