Hudson House


100% construction documentation complete, GC negotiations, permitting)

Hyde Park, NY

The challenge of this part-time residence located in the Hudson River Valley approximately two hours north of New York City was the hot and humid summer climate. The client was culturally accustomed to no summer active air conditioning, having previously lived in family houses with wraparound porches in Orient, New York and Alabama. The hypothesis of this design research was how to measure, understand and design for passive cooling from the site through the one-story building of the rocky knoll overlooking the Hudson River.

A central three-story stair leading from the rock enclosed basement to a third-story glass solar chimney and moon observation room. The key to letting hot air escape the top would be the ability to syphon cool air from specific locations around the building. To measure the coolest adjacent site locations in summer, Rhino Grasshopper’s radiance plugin Ladybug was used to simulate this data. This data informed 1) summer canopy covered courtyard 2) door and operable window locations and 3) adjacent tree locations. This was followed by the deployment of eight custom built Arduino Sensor Prototypes placed around the existing site of the future house, on various slopes of the knoll. This local data acquisition is then compared with the Ladybug simulation and used to confirm which openings would be most likely to draw cool air in the summer across the living room and kitchen of the house, and final species selection and fine-tuned locations of trees placement.

Post-occupancy testing of these intended sources to siphon cool air in summer under the wraparound porch, carport, covered courtyard and north slope, will inform the most effective use of openings, since each has different consequences of air quality.

“Atmosphere InFormed: Design Awareness of Small-scale Differences of Atmosphere in Architecture and Urban Design”

Environmental Design Research Association, Best Paper Award 2018