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.
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.
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.”
“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.
“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.”