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“Oh, look! There’s a building in the desert!” Seriously. The Headquarters of the United Nations sits comfortably and picturesquely amid an Arabian desert, dunes of nothingness behind its modern and clean façade.
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An oasis might best be described as a peaceful spot in an otherwise hectic place – an escape, however brief, offering solace: an opportunity to breathe in and recharge. Strewn along 131 lush acres of forest in the Hudson River Valley, Hudson Woods offers an opportunity for city dwellers yearning to reconnect with nature (and with each other) in a deep and authentic way. The architect-designed community, nestled within the sprawling and gorgeous landscape of Kerhonkson, NY, serves as an oasis tucked away 90 miles from Manhattan, close enough to be reachable via a stress-free drive, yet far enough to truly be an escape. With the vision of creating and providing “authentic, meaningful experiences at every turn,” Drew Lang, principal at Manhattan-based Lang Architecture developed the project, which broke ground in 2013, and has been delivering on that promise with a keen focus on simplicity, sustainability and quality, all rooted in nature.
Set amid forest, meadows and sweeping views of the Catskill Mountains, Hudson Woods blends modern design with elements found in its natural surroundings. All 26 of the architect-designed homes, which range from 2.7 to 12 acres and vary between two distinct, highly customizable designs, are crafted with natural materials, sourced from surrounding areas, and quite literally embedded in their natural landscape, providing more than just a dwelling – an experience. The sustainable design makes for high-performing homes that not only borrow from their surroundings but also fit in among them with minimal impact, setting new standards for sustainable design. Environmentally minded upgrades for homes include a solar energy system, a greenhouse and an electric car charger, just to name a few. The design, albeit meticulous, is rooted in a simple imperative: “Getting back to the things that matter and things that you feel passionate about,” Lang says. “Authentic and slow living is a key element of the Hudson Woods experience.”
Nature is just one of the sources from which Lang drew inspiration for Hudson Woods. “The area is experiencing a major revival with designers, artisans, makers and craftspeople at the forefront. There is a real sense of community and collaboration in the area,” he says. It’s this community collaboration that has complemented Hudson Woods’ design and provided another distinct feature, homes styled and furnished by local craftsmen, furniture-makers and artists, bringing the nature-meets-hyper-local-nurture approach full circle. “Local makers inspire us, and we inspire them,” Lang says. “[Our relationship] is symbiotic. They are critical to the story of Hudson Woods. They define the interior sensibility. Hudson Woods would not be Hudson Woods without them.” So, where does Lang himself draw inspiration to continue to innovate? “A sense of wonder and adventure. Nature, light, simplicity and silence,” he states. And Hudson Woods might just be the ideal reflection of that inspiration.
When asked to describe his favorite Hudson Woods feature, he replies, “Our interior doors. They are solid wood with a simple v-groove detail. I love our doors.” His response seems fitting, given his simple description of the Hudson Woods experience: “one that opens doors to discovering the things that matter. Family, friends, sport, craft. Hudson Woods lets you access it all,” Lang says. Seems like the experience lies just on the other side of that extraordinarily crafted wood door.
Visit Hudson Woods at 101 Ridgewood Rd, Kerhonkson, NY | www.hudsonwoods.com