At Home with DM
Cristina Grajales at Home
The New York gallerist invites us to tour Salt Point House
“It was destiny.” This is how Cristina Grajales describes the first time she met architect Thomas Phifer, a chance encounter that led to the construction of her Salt Point House in the Hudson Valley.
Grajales, a venerated New York design gallerist and advisor, along with her wife Isabelle Kirshner, wanted a weekend home-away-from-home that would feel like a 21st-century interpretation of a hunting lodge. And that’s what Phifer delivered—a minimalist glazed wooden box with lots of skylights and windows, wrapped in a perforated stainless steel skin, and sited to take full advantage of the property’s picturesque greenery and lake. Grajales spotlights a few of her favorite features of this very special place.
On the Materials
“The house is essentially wooden but encased in perforated metal panels that were fabricated in a small German town. The idea was suggested by our architect, Thomas Phifer. Initially, we thought that the harsh qualities of the metal would be overpowering in a natural setting like Upstate New York. But once installed, we realized that the unique casing has a very delicate, reflective quality. In the winter, the house nearly disappears. And in the summer, the exterior reflects the trees through this seemingly liquid facade. Like a mirrored armor, this shell protects us from the elements year-round and serves as the perfect juxtaposition to our warm maple plywood interiors.”
On the Skylights
“The 12 oculars are magical. They regulate light in an unexpected way. With a depth of five feet, the skylights appear circular from the interior, but they taper into squares at the exterior on the roof. Magnified through these white fiberglass prisms, natural light pours into the open-plan house as clear as day, filling the entire house with consistent lighting, even on cloudy days.”
On the Porch
“The screened porch is the place where we spend most of our time. It’s our window to the world, protected by screen panels as large as the house itself. The area extends the comfort of the living room into an unobstructed natural forest around our home, providing endless spectacular views of the lake and waterfall.”
More Views of Salt Point House
All images courtesy of Cristiana Grajales