A Modern House in Upstate New York by Aston Martin


Always wanted to be as urbane and stylish as James Bond? Well then, here’s the house for you, provided you have $8.25 million. The first domestic residential real estate project by legendary British automaker Aston Martin, the so-called Sylvan Rock, is a compelling modern house that is currently being built in the peaceful forest near Rhinebeck, New York. Aston Martin, of course, has long made the sportsters that 007 drives, the ones with the ejector seat and machine guns. The house does not, of course, include ejector seats or machine guns, but it’s certainly as souped-up and sleek as the iconic sports car.

The obvious question is, why is an automaker branching into architecture? The company says, “With more than a century of automobile heritage, the British luxury brand is now translating its world-renowned design language into a new generation of carefully curated partnerships.” In addition to this property, Aston Martin is developing a 70-story Miami complex and, with starchitect Sir David Adjaye, five penthouses in New York’s Financial District

Located in on 55 acres of land in Milan, about 90 minutes from Manhattan, and designed by New York City-based S3 Architecture, the property is repped by Jason Karadus and Marie-Claire Gladstone at Corcoran Country Living. The Hudson Valley, in the foothills of the ancient Catskill Mountains, is known for its huge chunks of exposed stone; one of the highlights of the property, and the only thing built so far, is the 2,000-foot-long driveway that winds past old-growth trees and dramatic rock outcroppings.

The house, which appears to fold down into the stone, as if it is a part of the natural landscape, will be sited on a rock ledge, and the jagged edges of its roofline mimic the rock formation. The main house and its accessory buildings, which include several guest “pods” and a treehouse, will be faced in black cedar, which is a bold and exciting complement to the green of the verdant forest. Floor-to-ceiling curtain wall windows will make the most of the views of the Catskills, the park-like grounds, and the natural light.

The house will be built using sustainable building methods and innovative materials, including mass timber beams, cross laminated roof panels and energy efficient glass, while interiors are planned to make extensive use of wood, leather, and metals for textural luxury. As designed, the house will offer four bedrooms and four full plus two half baths across the main residence and outbuildings. Altogether, there will be about 8,500 square feet of living space.

The master bedroom is located in the highest part of the home, for dramatic views of the property. The house also boasts a home office, a den, and an all-black kitchen that flows into a family room with a jet-black entertainment unit. Indeed, renderings for the house suggest the architects and designers seem to have taken Henry Ford’s maxim about the Model T to heart: a customer can have any color he wants, as long as it’s black.

Outside, there will be a pool and an outdoor kitchen, along with a pool house with spa and a “wellness pavilion” with a sauna and treatment rooms. There’s also a “food garden,” otherwise known as just a garden, and three “guest pods” for visitors or as a remote home office, or even a home school. The pod architecture is designed to be flexible and reconfigurable, as the family’s needs warrant.

It’s no surprise the the three-car garage is one of the more important design features of the house. Down in the lower level, there’s a wine cellar and lounge, both with glass walls so visitors can enjoy the view of your luxury cars. This writer thinks, however, James Bond would be more understated. Still, anyone would feel as cool as James Bond when living here. Of course, a license to kill not included.

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