Again, this…is…the guesthouse! Three years after completion of the Tsai Residence, the homeowners approached the HHF team (known for using what already exists at a site as a source of inspiration) and Ai Weiwei to commission a guesthouse. The main residence is a country house built for two art collectors along a wooded slope in upstate New York, two hours away from Manhattan. The guesthouse only needed three main elements: a bedroom, a workroom and a gallery for the two collectors’ art.
Sometimes, all it takes is a simple gesture that becomes very effective, and in the case of this guesthouse, it’s it Y-shaped ground-plan. The plan is designed to serve as a link to the three aforementioned elements at isolated areas (the endpoints of the “Y”) and defines the overall appearance of the house. Areas like the small bathroom, kitchenette and walk-in closet (which conceals a staircase to the basement and garage) are compact, freestanding boxes that also act as rear walls of the bedroom and workroom.
The façade of the main house is galvanized corrugated metal, and, in contrast, the guesthouse is a timber structure with corrugated corten steel cladding that rusts naturally over time. This was done so that in the autumn season, the red and gold of the cladding’s rust would merge well with the red and brown leaves surrounding the landscape. That’s not all of how the landscape interacts with the guesthouse, as each of the three main interior rooms showcase different perspectives of the extensive property.