Pound Ridge House by Tsao & McKown: 2017 Best of Year Winner for Suburban House
East meets West and indoor-outdoor. Those familiar tropes were particularly pertinent for Interior Design Hall of Fame members Calvin Tsao and Zack McKown when they began work on a New York weekend retreat for fashion designer Josie Natori, born in the Philippines, and her financier husband, Ken, a Japanese-American. Tsao and McKown conceived the single-story, 3,000-square-foot structure as a kind of teahouse.
It’s constructed with Douglas fir posts and beams, which reduced the need for internal load-bearing walls. The result is both airy and cozy, a sublime combination. Sunshine pours in through the sliding glass doors and the asymmetrical skylights angling upward from the flat roof. The brightness enhances the overall palette of earth tones, peppered with the purple and chartreuse of the furnishings—many selected to complement the Natoris’ antiques. Tsao and McKown were also responsible for landscaping, so it’s as considered as the interiors. The veranda overlooks a Japanese-style garden and an old-growth pine forest; one terrace incorporates a Balinese-inspired bath; and the master suite’s garden boasts a burbling fountain. “All the stone that we excavated during construction is reused in the gardens and landscape,” Tsao explains. McKown adds, “The geothermal heating helps to achieve an energy-conscious design despite the openness and the expanse of windows.” The result? A modernist marriage of lyricism and pragmatism.
Project Team: Jonathan Hoover; Richard Rhodes.