June 13, 2024


Giving your Home a new Option

Woodstock Farm by Rick Joy

While Rick Joy is known for his mastery of visceral desert architecture, a Vermont retreat brought him back to the rural vernacular of his childhood. Completed in 2008, the 200 acre property known as Woodstock Farm sits in the middle of the Green Mountains, a few hours away from where the award-winning architect grew up in Maine. Inspired by the local style and materials, Joy designed a stone-and-cedar gable farmhouse counterposed with a barn and small pond. Now the entire property is up for sale, seeking a new owner to enjoy its picturesque location.

Stone wall remnants of a previous farmhouse inspired the orientation of a 152-foot-long main residence counterposed with a multi-purpose barn. The entrance to the main house is located through a cutout at one end of the cedar-and-stone structure.

In 2010, the home won House of the Year from Architectural Record. When asked how he feels about the property today, Joy responded: “I grew up in the region so my emotional connection is deep. It’s one of the clearest examples of my search to learn from the wisdom of [existing] building cultures, yet also be committed to the evolution of architecture.” 

The elongated main structure reads as a simple archetypical form wrapped in cedar shingles and capped at each end with stone quarried from nearby Lake Champlain. A modern steel frame, together with structural insulated panels, allowed for fast construction and provided efficient insulation for Vermont’s four-season climate.

A maze-like entry sequence extends the transition, leading from the exterior stone cutout and up a staircase to an interior door. The famed Australian architect Peter Stutchbury once visited the home and described the entryway as the home’s crowning design element.

The entry opens into a small foyer that is draped in the Lake Champlain cut stone.

The entryway opens into a large great room that is framed by an exposed Barker steel bent frame. ‘Eave notch’ skylights drape over the south side of the home.

The home’s owner, Paul Palandjian, who now considers Joy part of his family, describes the calming effect of escaping to the property. “Each time I walk through the stone maze at entry, I can feel my heart rate come down. I disconnect into a spiritual and grounding energy only to be awestruck by the views as I enter the home and look out to the landscape.”

A large island defines the Bulthaup kitchen from the dining area. Each steel section was set 12-feet from center to operate in concert with Spanish Cedar sliding glass doors.

A look back at the living room from the dining area. Perfectly aligned white spruce boards run along the floors, walls, and ceiling.

“Inside the home, there are subtle details that promote a deep sense of calm,” adds Palandjian. “For example, the perfect alignment and cadence of the three-inch spruce boards form an interior skin that, contrasted with the exposed presentation of the steel frame, offers an unexpected sanctuary and feeling of warmth.”

Palandjian also describes other features not easily as seen in photos, such as the hidden duct work and electrical controls that Joy had engineered into the steel frame to minimize cuts and objects along the interior walls. Other details, including custom leather pulls instead of door knobs, promote an elegant utilitarian style inside the home.

Running along the entire south side of the home is a long hallway that terminates with a dramatic sliding door separating the master suite. Custom leather-pulls stand in as door handles for each of the secondary bedrooms also located along the hallway.

The master bedroom is capped by another stone wall at the end of the structure.

A freestanding Waterworks tub flanks a Tokyo bed by Porro and bedside lamps by Usona.

The soaking tub overlooks picturesque views of the property through a sliding glass door.

A large steam shower in the master bathroom is lit by a skylight above.

A look at one of three additional bedrooms, all with en-suite bathrooms.

The basement of the main home also offers a synthetic ice floor for indoor hockey practice.

The two-story barn features an equipment garage and half basketball court.

Upstairs in the barn, a large main hall is surrounded by bunk areas for housing guests.

“When looking out from the home, I am touched by the beauty and tranquility of the forest, says Palandjian. “The sounds of the wind and weather combine with birds and frogs that chirp in the water as an audio backdrop to deer, black bears, and the occasional moose that move in the distance. I believe that there is an energy driving Rick that is outside of himself. Woodstock Farm is pure Joy.”

A fall view of the two structures. The main residence can also be referred to as a “stone-endah,” a regional term describing the use of stone as shear walls on the ends of a gabled structure.

The property’s location in a pastoral valley is surrounded by the Green Mountains of Vermont. A stream runs from the top of the valley to the pond, which is bordered by an old stone dam.

Woodstock Farm floor plan

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