T-House designed by Simon Ungers + Thomas Kinslow, was commissioned by an aspiring author who wanted a country retreat to store his 10,000 books.
T-House is located in Wilton, NY, about three hours north of New York City. Ungers, and his business partner Tom Kinslow, came up with a cross-bar design with the library covering the immense top floor, a nod to the owner’s true passion.
The T-House is a residence and library, accommodating over 10,000 volumes for a writer. The client’s primary functional request was a clear distinction between living (residence) and working (library) areas. Utilitarian components, such as kitchen and bathrooms, were to be kept to a minimum of square footage.
The client imposed no formal or material guidelines or constraints. The site is a forty-acre property located in upstate New York, three hours north of New York City. The building itself is situated adjacent to a former sand excavation pit. The topography is, therefore, partially artificial. The site’s slope is towards the south, offering a view of the Berkshire Mountains. The residential part of the building is oriented east-west; the library is north-south. The site is densely wood19ed on the west side of the building and clear on the east side.
The configuration of the building is an interpretation of the client’s functional requirements, incorporating the site’s topography. The required separation of living and working areas is translated into two linear spaces stacked vertically and perpendicular to each other, connected by a square transition (entry) space. Access occurs on top of the partially buried residence at the center of the building.
The library is a double-story space. The accommodation of both a view and bookshelves is critical to the library’s design. This condition is solved by vertical separating the reading/working area from the shelving. The shelving system is conceived as an independent steel structure, including a wrap-around mezzanine, suspended from the ceiling, creating a column-free reading/working space. Repetitive eight-foot high openings at two-foot intervals surround the entire reading/working area, providing a segmented panoramic view.