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Tower House is Architecture I Love

Published by on 8/08/13

Tower House by Gluck+ is not only an incredible bit of architecture, it is also one of Gluck+’s principals, Thomas Gluck’s, eco friendly, Upstate New York holiday home. It features a living room elevated 9 metres above the ground, hovering above surrounding trees and offers a wonderful view of mountain views across nearby Catskill Park.

The house is glazed on every side which, along with fitted green panels, gives the structure camouflage with the surrounding woodland, whilst the tower remains transparent, exposing a bright yellow staircase that zigzags towards the ‘observation deck’ living room. Alongside the camouflage, which dramatically decreases Tower House’s visual effect on the landscape, the base footprint takes up just 40 square metres, which is minimal considering the area of the house is 236 square meters! The designers achieved this by stacking the bedrooms and bathrooms over 3 floors, and lifting the living areas off the ground.


Gluck also took environmental and energy issues into account, firstly the 3 bedrooms are positioned on the north side where they can benefit from the most consistent daylight. Secondly the layout allows all of the wet rooms to be arranged in an insulated central core. When the house isn’t in use, this core isolates the heating systems, helping to reduce energy consumption.


The standout feature for me would have to be the 12 metre long window seat that spans the entire, bright, open living room. Finally the is also a secluded room terrace where you can relax and BBQ in the sun.


Here’s what Gluck+ had to say about this project:

“This small vacation house is designed as a stairway to the treetops. Keeping the footprint to a minimum so as not to disturb the wooded site, each of the first three floors has only one small bedroom and bath, each a tiny private suite. The top floor, which contains the living spaces, spreads out from the tower like the surrounding forest canopy, providing views of the lake and mountains in the distance, virtually the entire Catskill mountain range. The glass-enclosed stair highlights the procession from forest floor to treetop aerie, while the dark green enameled exterior camouflages the house by reflecting the surrounding woods, and dematerializing its form.”

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