The Hudson Lookout is a striking three-storey residence set within the beautiful rolling landscape of New York State’s Catskill Mountains. Designed by Brooklyn-based architect Kimberly Peck, the project brief arrived fully formed from the client. Their intention was to create a ‘modern watchtower’, a Hudson Valley house to use as a vacation rental, and they had spent many years searching for the perfect spot. 

Hudson Valley house with a view

Hudson Lookout, a Hudson Valley house by Kimberly Peck Architects

As its name suggests, the Lookout is a tower, with a 20ft square base, rising up three storeys from its site atop a small hill. Every single vista has been carefully considered, with different-sized windows precisely placed to make the most of specific views. A winding, black-painted steel staircase is set in one corner of the plan, ascending all the way up to roof level, where a full terrace offers an impressive 360-degree panorama over the surrounding wooded hills. 

Hudson Lookout, a Hudson Valley house by Kimberly Peck Architects

The main living space is set on the third level, to maximise daytime light and views. An open-plan kitchen/diner and seating area, it has a warm and comfortable feel with timber ceilings, contemporary fixtures and fittings, and a cinemascope-scale window at treetop level. Two generous bedrooms are located on the first and second floors, each with an en-suite bathroom, while there is also a utility room next to the entrance and a small office on the second floor. The master bed features a freestanding tub with a view, and the house has everything you need for a short, recuperative stay. 

Hudson Lookout, a Hudson Valley house by Kimberly Peck Architects

Designed to be as energy-efficiency as possible, the Lookout is very heavily insulated, with heating embedded in the concrete slab and ‘energy recovery ventilation’ that cools the house and dehumidifies it in summer, while reversing the process in winter, using energy given off by the HVAC system. The exterior walls are clad in vertical timber slats, which emphasises their height, with flush, frameless glazing that mirrors the trees and passing skies. 

Hudson Lookout, a Hudson Valley house by Kimberly Peck Architects

Kimberly Peck set up her Brooklyn studio in 2004, after working for Adam Tihany and Ogawa Depardon Architects. The practice has completed a number of residential lofts and private houses in the New York area, as well as working on commercial projects for W Hotels, Club Monaco, Jonathan Adler, and others. The Hudson Lookout is perhaps the most modest and low-key project in the practice’s portfolio, a structure that makes the most of its spectacular site. §

Hudson Lookout by Kimberly Peck Architects
Hudson Lookout by Kimberly Peck Architects
Hudson Lookout by Kimberly Peck Architects
Hudson Lookout by Kimberly Peck Architects