River Architects Studio

River Architects purchased a modest building on Main Street in Cold

Spring, NY to meet our growing needs. This timber-framed structure

was formerly a real estate office, a hotdog stand, a candy shop, and

a “Chinese” laundry. Our research however indicates that the structure

was first a farrier shop- a blacksmith shop for shoeing horses, and dates

to circa 1870.

Implementing our commitment to both historic preservation and

combating Climate Change, we upgraded this historic structure to

Passive House Standards- meeting net-positive performance with a

super-insulated building envelope, air-tight structure, geothermal ground

loop, solar tubes, and PV solar panels.

Structural deficiencies in the foundation led to the lifting and reconstruction

of the masonry base, utilizing stone from the original foundation and

pointed with historically-appropriate white mortar. Reclaimed foam

insulation thermally separates the stone base and the finished concrete

floor from contact with the ground, keeping interior temperatures in the

basement office consistent with the rest of the space. Tall windows bring

light and views into the basement level, and a dramatic steel and timber

staircase connect the two floors of workspace.

The updated exterior appearance, state-of-the-art energy performance

and TapHome automated solar shading is balanced by the exposed

timber framing at the interior, offset with white-stained wood creating a

bright and textured interior.

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