5 Questions With Architect Sarah Zames of General Assembly

GA_Hamptons-7.jpg
002b_GA_Hamptons-18.jpg
The Hamptons is an interesting place because it has both a very formal and a more relaxed artistic history. This project was a balance of those two ideas.
— Architect Sarah Zames
GA_Hamptons-22.jpg
Flooring is one of the biggest decisions you make on a project and locking that decision in in the beginning is important in order to keep the other decisions on finishes in line. What I enjoyed about The Hudson Company was the education they brought to the clients.
— Sarah Zames

Meet Sarah Zames of General Assembly

Brooklyn-based architect Sarah Zames grew up in Northwest Connecticut and has been living and designing in New York City and Los Angeles for the past two decades. After working at several international firms, including Skidmore Owings and Merrill, Tod Williams and Billie Tsien Architects, and Rafael Viñoly Architects, her attraction to the intimacy and scale of residential design led her, in 2010, to start General Assembly - a team of designers and project managers who believe that the details of a home should come from the unique, personal details of the people who live there. In addition to ground up and full renovation projects, GA designs custom lighting and furniture.

Creating A Family Refuge In The Hamptons

In 2018, The Hudson Company worked together with Sarah and GA to provide the custom milled flooring for the ‘Watermill’ project - a complete residential renovation in The Hamptons. Describing the project in their own words, GA says:

“This 3400 square foot home in the Hamptons was gutted down to the studs and rebuilt to create a family refuge from the busy city. We were inspired by the idea of juxtuposing the informality of a traditional country house with the formality that such a grand space required, in order to create something entirely unique, filling the house with our modern interpretation of some very classic details. GA handled all aspects of the process from architectural design to interior design, including all lighting, finishes and several custom designed furniture pieces.”

5 Questions with Architect Sarah Zames

After the successful completion of the Watermill project, which features Hudson Company Bare, White Oak, Flat Sawn floors, we wanted to sit down with Sarah to discuss a bit about her team’s creative process and how they brought the Watermill project to life.

First off, how did you distill the clients' needs / ideas into a clear vision for the design of this project?

The house was designed for four different people (from two different generations) to enjoy. So, we naturally had some differing opinions on style.  We wanted to make sure we were able to work the personality of everyone into the design, and took input from everyone involved. One unifying factor between everyone was their love of travel. They often traveled as a family together, and brought back some great art pieces. We made sure to find places to include those in the space. 

Clearly there is a focus on natural materials in this project—woods, marble, stone, and plants—can you talk a bit about these choices of materials and why they are a good fit for a, 'family refuge from the city?'

We tend to use natural materials in all of our projects because they are ageless and will not go out of style. For this project, using natural materials was a big part of bringing balance to the design. We combined natural materials with more modern details and, in doing so, we were able to achieve a comfortable elegance.

How did the design of this home fit into or contrast the historic design vernacular of the Hamptons?

The Hamptons is an interesting place because it has both a very formal and a more relaxed artistic history. This project was a balance of those two contrasting ideas. We wanted to maintain some of the formality, but also create a comfortable place to enjoy the weekend. We achieved this balance by creating more modern versions of some traditional details (for example, the paneling on the stairs and family room ceiling), and by bringing in natural materials that would age over time.  

It's clear that your team loves the custom details of design (from finishes, lighting, furniture, etc.). Can you talk about this high-level of creative detailing and how this style of work allows you to serve your clients and create unique design?

We feel that the best part of doing a full renovation is being able to have everything designed exactly to your taste. Designing custom details, like the brass tops to the railing balustrade, is one of the best parts of what we do. It means that the homeowners get to enjoy something that is unique to them, and we get to experiment with design and work with really great craftspeople.

Lastly, can you talk about your experience collaborating with The Hudson Company during the Watermill project?

We started working with The Hudson Company very early on in the project. Flooring is one of the biggest decisions you make on a project and locking that decision in in the beginning is important in order to keep the other decisions on finishes in line. What I enjoyed about Hudson was the education they brought to the clients. They respect the fact that [wood flooring] is a big investment and they took the time to educate the clients on the importance of quality flooring. 

Learn more about Bare, White Oak, Flat Sawn

Go inside the Watermill residential project here and here.

Project Credits:

Inside Our New Ridgefield, CT Showroom

Come Visit Us In Ridgefield, CT

Opened on November 14, 2018, our Ridgefield, CT showroom was established to serve our Westchester, Connecticut, and New England clients. Designed by Brad Ford and furnished by FAIR, our newest and largest showroom will showcase over 100 flooring, paneling, and beam products.

Located on Ethan Allen Highway (Route 7), our Ridgefield Showroom is conveniently located for product viewings, consultations, and client meetings and is open by appointment Monday to Friday.

Book An Appointment or Learn More About Our Ridgefield Showroom

HC_11_15_2018_shot_7 (1).jpg
HC_11_15_2018_shot_4 (1).jpg
HC_11_15_2018_shot_3.jpg
HC_11_15_2018_shot_5 (1).jpg
HC_11_15_2018_shot_6 (1).jpg
HC_11_15_2018_shot_9 (1).jpg

Installation In Focus: 1 Hotel Central Park, NYC

1 Hotel Exterior.jpg
1 Hotel Bedroom.jpg
3.jpg

1 Hotel Central Park: A Different Kind of Hotel

Starwood Hotel Group has long been a leader in high design and luxury hospitality around the world. With their new line of 1 Hotels (Manhattan, South Beach, and Brooklyn), Starwood is again bringing design to the forefront of the hotel experience — now with an elevated emphasis on sustainability, authenticity, and the beauty of nature. The development of 1 Hotel Central Park started with a broad concept. According to Starwood CEO Barry Sternlicht: “The world around us is beautiful and we want to do our best to keep it that way. We want to make an impact by reinventing the industry standard for socially responsible hospitality. We want 1 to be a different type of hotel.”

Located at the corner of 58th Street and Sixth Avenue, 1 Hotel Central Park is just one block south — only 100 steps, in fact — from Central Park. And like Central Park itself, the idea behind 1 Hotel was to create a retreat within the city where guests could escape and refresh. New York-based firm AvroKO developed the design for this innovative, 229-room, 110,000-square-foot urban oasis and, from the beginning, meticulously pursued the use of sustainable materials and locally sourced building solutions. The design team worked to complement the building’s existing structure (including exposed concrete ceilings and floors, steel columns and beams, and terracotta block walls) by utilizing materials to enhance the authentic feel of the hotel, including locally made furniture, handmade textiles, and a wealth of indoor greenery (24,000 indoor plants!).

A Diverse Spectrum of Custom-Milled Wood Surfaces

Among the wide range of natural and local materials incorporated into AvroKO’s designs for 1 Hotel Central Park is a diverse spectrum of Hudson Company wood products — from reclaimed flooring and paneling, to historic hand-hewn beams and one-of-a-kind custom statement pieces. Through close collaboration with The Hudson Company, AvroKO was able to incorporate a range of unique wood surfaces that reinforce the hotel’s strong design concept and its goal of “bringing the outside in.” From the hotel’s street-level entrance and lobby spaces, to the guest rooms, fitness center, and presidential suites, a variety of carefully selected Hudson Company wood surfaces can be found throughout 1 Hotel Central Park. The surfaces include 50,000 square feet of Hudson Company Silt flooring, 30,000 square feet of Reclaimed Barn Siding, 50 Reclaimed Hand-Hewn Beams, Reclaimed Gym Flooring (salvaged from the old University of Wisconsin basketball court), Reclaimed Redwood (sourced from retired NYC water tanks), Reclaimed Threshing Floor, Reclaimed Travaux Maple flooring, and a custom-finished, debarked Spalted Elm Stump in the hotel’s lobby.

A Hotel Unlike Any Other in New York

"The natural and local materials emerged as the heart of the design, allowing us to celebrate and enhance their inherent richness with minimal touches, including a warm color palette and atmospheric lighting,” says AvroKO principal Greg Bradshaw. “Our goal was to leave the space feeling somewhat unadorned so the materials and core of the space could speak for itself." All of this careful material sourcing and eco-minded design makes 1 Hotel Central Park a boutique hotel unlike any other in New York City — one that brings the outside in, provides a unique parkside respite for travellers, and, as Ann Abel at Forbes put so well, “feels alive in a way that few others do.”

>> This installation profile originally appeared in The Hudson Company Journal, Volume 2 - click to learn more about our new print journal and catalogue.

>> See more photos and product details from this design installation.

Installation In Focus: Sunnyfield Farm

Sunnyfields+2.jpg
Sunnyfields Option 2.jpg
Sunnyfields 4.jpg
Sunnyfields Option 1.jpg
Sunnyfields 5.jpg
Sunnyfields 1.jpg

A Classic Home 8 Years In The Making

Overlooking the rolling hills of the Hudson Valley is the idyllic Sunnyfield Farm, a horse farm and traditional Georgian-style home in Millbrook, New York.

The Hudson Company was honored to play a role in the development, design, and construction of the home — a project spanning more than eight years, including a research trip to the Swedish countryside for inspiration and materials. This passion project required not only a very close client-designer relationship but also an ongoing dialogue with The Hudson Company. The result of these close partnerships is a residential installation project that features some of our most ambitious flooring details to date, including 10" Reclaimed Heart Pine flooring sourced from historic New York City townhouses; custom-milled, extra-long White Oak floor planks;  and Reclaimed Redwood specially milled for Sunnyfield’s trim work. 

Throughout the process, lead architect Cynthia Filkoff of Di Biase Filkoff Architects was attuned to her client’s high standard of quality and beauty. “We were initially asked to transform the preexisting modernist house into a traditional Tudor,” Filkoff explains, “but after living in the original house for a year, the client decided that the quality of the construction was inadequate. It made more sense to tear it down and build a new home.”

In time, the team at Di Biase Filkoff came up with a solution that would meet the client’s exacting criteria: a proper brick Georgian home with Swedish-inspired interiors connected to the magnificent land and views. In order to find the right balance of craftsmanship and aesthetic, Filkoff traveled to the client’s summer home in Fiskebäckskil, Sweden. “In Sweden, I was able to study the wood-centric, old-world architecture that the client admired so much. What I found there was an aesthetic that was rich in handcrafted details. It was inventive and playful, both inside and out. Ultimately, these were the kind of details that we worked to incorporate at Sunnyfield.”

Along with a detailed list of high-quality, sustainable material specifications, the choice of wood flooring was critical to the aesthetic and design of the home. “When it came to flooring,” Cynthia recalls, “the client was committed to creating a wood floor that reflected the antique floors of classic Swedish homes. The details had to be authentic.” From here, Di Biase Filkoff turned to The Hudson Company, who encouraged the designers to incorporate two complementary flooring types: Reclaimed Heart Pine and White Oak.

The Reclaimed Heart Pine milled for the Sunnyfield project was sourced from a row of historic townhouses on New York City’s Upper East Side and then milled to a width of 10” to reflect the flooring Filkoff had researched in Scandinavia. The White Oak flooring planks, installed in the home’s ground floor, were sourced from purpose-cut trees, hand selected from private timber stands. The trees were air-dried, kiln-dried, and custom milled to meet the architect’s designs. Along with an intricate wagon wheel pattern for Sunnyfield’s dining room, Filkoff also designated that much of the White Oak would be milled into extra-long planks that could span from the home’s front entrance all the way to the back door. At 10” wide and ranging from 10’ to 24’ in length, these extraordinarily long oak planks create a striking and unique aesthetic for the home’s ground floor. In addition, Reclaimed Redwood, sourced from decommissioned New York City rooftop water tanks, was used to outfit the home’s custom door and window frames and interior trim.

In the end, what made the Sunnyfield project such a glowing success was the sustained and passionate attention to detail by everyone involved: the client, the designers, and a wide array of talented craftspeople. Looking back, Filkoff remembers the project collaboration with special fondness. “Working with The Hudson Company exceeded our expectations on every level: from their knowledgeable insight and expertise, to their creative ideas, to their ability to source and deliver materials on time and on budget,” she says. “Throughout the project, the collaboration was exceptional. The Hudson Company enhanced the entire process. You know, I could go on and on about this project. Sunnyfield was such a labor of love.”

This installation profile originally appeared in The Hudson Company Journal, Volume 2 - click to learn more about our new print journal and catalogue.

Installation In Focus: Willow Street

Willow Street 2.jpg
Willow Street 3.jpg
We wanted the space to be a balance of contrasts, open and airy yet respectful of the rooms expected in townhouse living; modern lines and materials, but respecting the character of the house and neighborhood; natural but polished; unique and creative, yet timeless and universal.
— Damian Zunino, Studio DB
Willow Street 4.jpg
Willow Street 1.jpg

Transformation In Brooklyn Heights

Well known for its tree-lined streets and well-preserved antebellum townhouses, Brooklyn Heights is one of New York City’s most charming neighborhoods. At the very heart of this historic district is the 1834 brownstone on the corner of Willow and Middagh Street. Originally built in a Greek Revival Style, 15 Willow once belonged to the Franciscan Sisters of the Poor but, in 2016, was transformed into a single-family residence — a transformation that required a nuanced balance of innovation and preservation. The development and design team behind the renovation at 15 Willow Street project was Studio DB, led by the firm’s husband-and-wife principals Damian and Britt Zunino.

Damian explains how, as the team endeavored to modernize the 6,400-square-foot, five-bedroom townhouse, their goal was to create a balance of contrasts. “We wanted the space to be open and airy, yet respectful of the kind of interiors expected in townhouse living, [with] modern lines and materials that honored the historic character of both the house and the neighborhood.”

The choice of flooring was central to the architects’ goal of honoring the past while simultaneously integrating modern lines and materials. “We had a vision of how we wanted the floors to feel, so we reached out to The Hudson Company at the very beginning of the process. There was a specific walnut floor we were looking for — we wanted something that felt natural but still had a lot of character, and we knew The Hudson Company could produce this kind of flooring for us.”

Through close collaboration with the Studio DB team, The Hudson Company custom-milled 3,000 square feet of 5” Walnut plank and 1,000 square feet of 5” Herringbone plank for the project.“The new floors feel light but still raw,” Zunino says. “The finish brings a timeless, polished aesthetic to the house’s interior.”

The installation profile originally appeared in The Hudson Company Journal, Volume 2. Read more or learn how to get your physical copy of The Journal here.

IMG_4291.hud.co.journal.jpg

Installation In Focus: Mitchell's Lane

Kevin+O'Sullivan+Associates.jpg

Flat Sawn White Oak Floors At Mitchell's Lane Residence

Our custom Flat Sawn White Oak is milled to minimize waste and to accentuate arching, cathedral grain. This cut includes edge sap, tight knots, and grain variation. Learn more about this versatile flooring product here.

Photos above and below are from the award winning Mitchell's Lane residential installation (also known as 'Grove House'), designed by Roger Ferris + Partners. A few notes about the project design, taken from the architect's website:

This private residence was designed as an immersive yet modern natural retreat, providing connections to the surrounding landscape via planes of glass that interrupt a series of solid forms. Two of the volumes are delicately connected and sectioned off by a glass breezeway, housing the public and private living spaces of the home. A third volume stands alone, housing an artist studio on the second floor overlooking the rural landscape on which the home is set. Each of the three simple gable-shaped volumes are covered in the same natural rain screen wood material, that will gradually weather as the volumes fade into their natural surroundings.

Learn more about our Flat Sawn White Oak  here and see more from this design installation here.
 

Mitchells Lane Kitchen.jpg
MITCHELLS LANE 5.jpg
MITCHELLS LANE 1.jpg
MITCHELLS LANE 4.jpg

Introducing The Hudson Company Journal, Vol 2

Introducing the All New Hudson Company Journal, Volume 2

The new issue of The Hudson Company Journal  celebrates the people, products, and projects at the heart of who we are, goes behind the scenes at our mill in upstate New York, and takes an in-depth look at the best of our design installations, including our floors for the new Whitney Museum of American Art.

The Hudson Company Journal, Vol 2 is a tool to help designers and homeowners envision ways to use custom wood flooring, paneling and beams in your next design project.

Stop by our ManhattanBrooklyn, or Pine Plains Showroom to pick up your copy of The Hudson Company Journal Volume 2.

 

*Read A Digital Version of The Journal Here*

Join us for Field + Supply 2017 At The Hutton Brickyards in Kingston, NY

FS Edit.jpg

Field + Supply, October 6-8, 2017

We are now less than a week away from one of our favorite annual design events: Field + Supply Modern Makers Fair founded by designer Brad Ford.

Join us this weekend Oct 6-8, at The Hutton Brickyards for a one-of-a-kind gathering of artists, makers, designers, and craft food exhibitors. Exhibitors for at this year's F+S include: Dzierlenga FurnitureJ.M. Szymanski Interiors, Michele Quan, Jim Zivic, Borough Furnace, Made By Hand-Jon Giswold, Fayce Textiles, Adler & Co., and many many others.

Learn more about Field + Supply and book your tickets here.


From The Archives: The Hudson Company Stage for Field + Supply 2016

While we wait to reveal this year's The Hudson Company + Field + Supply 2017 events stage design, we invite you to dive into the archives to see our how last year's stage collaboration with designer Brad Ford came to life. 

Stay tuned to this blog and to our Instagram Feed for the reveal of this year's Field + Supply stage...

The Hudson Company + Camp Wandawega Sneak Peak

camp+photo+6.jpg
Screen-Shot-2016-10-03-at-7.32.48-AM.png

Reclaimed Softwood Threshing Floors at Camp Wandawega, Wisconsin

Camp Wandawega, located near Elkhorn, Wisconsin and established in 1925, is a place quiet unlike any other in America: an historic landmark, a vintage summer camp, and (among other things) a former brothel and speakeasy! Today Camp Wandawega has been lovingly preserved by its owners / innkeepers David and Tereasa, who have reinvented Camp Wandawega while simultaneously preserving it's fascinating legacy and beloved character.

The newest project at Camp Wandawega is the restoration of the property's 'Social House' which will feature Hudson Company Reclaimed Softwood Threshing Floor

A bit about Reclaimed Softwood Threshing Floors: Threshing is the agrarian process in which wheat is separated from chafe. Traditionally, farmers have used oxen and cattle to tread repeatedly over the crop to accelerate the separation. The result of this aggressive agricultural process is, that the wide mixed, softwood floor boards of the threshing room floor develop a distinct, rugged character and well-worn patina.

Below is a sneak peak of the Reclaimed Threshing Floors being installed in Camp Wandawega's Social House. More on this project to come in the near future!

More about Camp Wandawega here.

More about Reclaimed Softwood Threshing Floors here.

See our 'Designer Square Series' interview and collaboration with Camp Wandawega innkeeper and stylist extraordinaire Tereasa Surratt here

The Camp Wandawega Social House nearing completion, summer 2017.

The Camp Wandawega Social House nearing completion, summer 2017.

Reclaimed Softwood Threshing floors just after being installed at Camp Wandawega.

Reclaimed Softwood Threshing floors just after being installed at Camp Wandawega.

IMG_1053.jpg
Installation photos courtesy of Camp Wandawega.

Installation photos courtesy of Camp Wandawega.

UpdatedExterior.jpg

Reclaiming An icon: Brooklyn's Domino Sugar Refinery

Domino Sugar Refinery Photos by  Paul Raphaelson.

Domino Sugar Refinery Photos by Paul Raphaelson.

Domino Sugar Refinery Photos by  Paul Raphaelson.

Domino Sugar Refinery Photos by Paul Raphaelson.

Domino Sugar Refinery Photos by  Paul Raphaelson.

Domino Sugar Refinery Photos by Paul Raphaelson.

Reclaiming An Icon

Recently, The Hudson Company was honored to be selected to custom mill 45,000 board feet of Reclaimed Heart Pine Beams and Mixed Softwood Decking salvaged from Williamsburg's historic Domino Sugar Refinery. Rich in over a century of colorful history (the factory complex was built in the 1880s and was once the largest of its kind in the world), the riverfront Domino facility was an icon of the Williamsburg skyline for more than a century. And although the refinery is now gone, much of the grand old icon of New York's industrial past is being preserved in an innovative and sustainably-minded way.

After being salvaged by Brooklyn-based developers Two Trees, the reclaimed wood from the Domino facility was transported to our Pine Plains, NY mill to be de-nailed, graded, planed, and profiled for use as park benches, furniture, and other on site décor for the buildings and park structures that will replace the old factory (exciting details and timelines for the Domino Redevelopment Project can be found here). 

Now that much of the original manufacturing facility is gone, Two Trees, along with SHoP Architects and James Corner Field Operations, have developed a vision for the future that preserves a number of relics from the historic Domino complex: including two 80-foot tall historic cranes, large cylindrical syrup cranes, and more than twenty stone columns from facility's warehouse. Along with the new luxury and affordable housing units being built on the site of the old Domino complex, the developers are executing a master plan that includes community-focused gardens, public parks, playgrounds and sports fields.

Stay tuned to www.thehudsonco.com in the coming months, where we will be sharing more about our involvement in this exciting development, including imagery and details on how the reclaimed wood from inside the Domino factory is put to use in the Domino Redevelopment Project.

In the meantime, you can learn more about Two Trees here, more about SHoP Architects here, more about James Corner Field Operations here, and see more of Paul Raphaelson's pre-demolition Domino Sugar Refinery photos here.

Domino Redevelopment renderings by  Two Trees Management.

Domino Redevelopment renderings by Two Trees Management.

Domino Redevelopment renderings by T wo Trees Management.

Domino Redevelopment renderings by Two Trees Management.

Domino Redevelopment renderings by  Two Trees Management.

Domino Redevelopment renderings by Two Trees Management.