A Rustic Touch in New York Farm Country: Contemporary Barn by Wagner Hodgson

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This 110-acre parcel in Millerton, New York (Dutchess County), has as its central organizing element a “tapis vert” — an unbroken expanse of lawn, rectangular in shape. It’s what’s at either end of this expanse that Wagner Hodgson Landscape Architecture took on: a minimalist “barn” of Corten steel and glass at one and, and pools and terrace at the other. You can tell this is “farm country” with one glance around you from a seat on the terraces — rolling country stretches before you as far as the eye can see. Recalling the site’s origins and history, elements of “barn” architecture have also been employed in the landscape — a clever way to disguise a rather steep slope and provide visual interest as well.

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See those steel rings around the birch trees? Yes, the ground drops off there, camouflaged by a rich carpet of ground cover. Up-lighting after dark seems to magically appear; it’s carefully concealed beneath the steel rims. Notice the exuberant wildflower meadow next to the tapis vert: as if a boundary on the lawn, this planting seems to say, “Natural blooms resume here.” But there are more instances of helping Nature along, too: next to the lawn on another side is an orchard and vegetable garden, with a custom steel fence and gate that blends in tone and style with the barn’s rustic detail and the steel tree surrounds. Inside, this “barn” is thoroughly modern: light, airy, and open, with panels of glass that bring the beautiful details of outdoors inside to enjoy anytime.

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Written by Janet Butler

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Janet W. Butler is a freelance writer, editor, and editorial consultant by day and a “small soprano” by night. An RWA Golden Heart Winner, she is the author of the inspirational romance From the Ashes (“the best little book no one’s ever heard of”), published by SANDS Publishing in 2001; and a romantic suspense, Voice of Innocence, from Desert Breeze Publishing. She is a Chicago native transplanted to northeast Indiana, where she lives with her husband, daughter, and Cassandra “Trouble” Butler, S.R.C. (Spoiled Rotten Cat).

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