Weekend Cabin: Olivebridge, New York

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The simple cube is a sure sign of man — there aren’t so many pure squares in the natural world — and it might seem to be the least organic interface between a structure and its environment. And yet, perhaps in lacking adornment, in its simplicity, the cube is a way for man to blend as well as possible. A box to provide shelter, with no rococo distractions to the eye or mind.

The Olivebridge Library was designed by architect Peter Gluck for his wife Carol, who is a Japanese scholar, and while there are no obvious Eastern influences, certainly the simple lines, the spare furnishings, and even the deciduous forest hint softly at that Asian nation.

The library holds some 10,000 volumes, only a fraction of which are kept upstairs in the 20 by 20 by 20 foot building; the rest are stored in the small basement. What are first glance appear to be windows are, in fact, sliding doors, so Gluck can open her space to the world at large, surrounded by light and air, and blend in all the more.

Architect: Peter Gluck and Partners

Weekend Cabin isn’t necessarily about the weekend, or cabins. It’s about the longing for a sense of place, for shelter set in a landscape…for something that speaks to refuge and distance from the everyday. Nostalgic and wistful, it’s about how people create structure in ways to consider the earth and sky and their place in them. It’s not concerned with ownership or real estate, but what people build to fulfill their dreams of escape. The very time-shortened notion of “weekend” reminds that it’s a temporary respite.

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  • Jimmy Buff

    nice story — esp. since I am married to a librarian (in nearby Phoenicia). And on that note: Olivebridge is one word.

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