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Be sure to check out the first of 4 episodes on NBC’s Open House featuring the construction progress of the Montagnaro House. In this episode, Glenn Callahan and David Jackson of American Green Home Builders touch upon some green design strategies that everyone should consider when building a new home. Hats off to the greenest and most camera-ready GC team out there!

Be on the lookout for Mapos in a forthcoming episode dedicated to smart water management!


A view from the crow's nest looking West to North.

After one of the snowiest winters and rainiest springs on record, summer is finally here, and the hammers are flying in Ghent! The crew has raised the rafters and the space and form of the new house can at last be experienced in full scale reality. Whenever this milestone is achieved on a project, it is among the most exciting moments for an architect and client alike.

This week, as we finally ascended to the top floor of the Ghent House with the client, experiencing the intoxicating panorama of the Upper Hudson Valley from this crow’s nest, every decision, every risk, every fight for design that occurred during the process of design, was immediately, and joyfully, validated.

A panoramic view of the Catskill Mountains to the West, from atop the dirt pile outside of Hudson, NY. Foundation formwork can be seen on the right.

We architects like to daydream… in fact that’s what got most of us here in the first place.

A dream becomes a vision, that vision slowly gestates, and through monumental efforts of a team of individuals, believing in and adding to this vision, not to mention commendable stamina, this vision forms into a reality. With the right team and the right client, this entire process can begin to take on a poetic rhythm.

The in-progress foundation pictured above is just such a project. A dream site with unobstructed views of the Catskill Mountains to the west, an incredible client seeking the latest in cutting edge sustainable practices with an open mind to design, and an energetic and knowledgeable general contractor dream team (American Green Home Builders, who provided this photo, a byproduct of their aforementioned energy).

We’ll keep you Mapostles updated on the progress of this new home as it magically forms over the next several months, and share with you our thoughts along the way!


We could not call ourselves architects, or even New Yorkers, if we did not visit and comment on the newly (and partially) opened Highline.

Our weekly Mapos derive took us to the West side and up a flight of stairs. While crowded with enthusiastic tourists, citizens and parkophiles, it still felt like a secluded discovery. The new prespectives that the highline gives you are impressive, and yes, exciting. I have always felt a bit of disappointment when visiting newly opened architectural “wonders.” It’s a bit logical, actually; how can the real thing live up to the hype? The Highline, however, quickly fell into the elite Mapos category of “Better than Expected,” joining Scarpa’s Castelvecchio and OMA’s Seattle Library. In fact, the only criticism I could utter was not really a criticism: “let’s see how it looks in the middle of January.” Well, OK, I do wish the end at Gansevoort was a little more end-like. Pull back the guardail 5 feet and let the steel girders stretch out from under our feet?

Besides the lofty perch, the other quality most admired would be it’s relationship to the existing buildings. Over. Under. Through. Beside. Old and forgotten surfaces, never meant for prime-time viewing, now get thrust into the limelight. I hope they remain as gritty, banal, and textured as they are now. That’s what makes the perspective so unique. Other highlights are the beautiful details, first and foremost the concrete “fingers” that perform a constant back-and-forth with the landscape. Smart. Simple. Effective.

Visit. Walk. Look. Enjoy. It’s hard to imagine this was ever thought of as an eyesore.