Pedigree: “For too long buildings have been fortresses,” asserts architect Thomas Phifer, whose glass-and-steel Taghkanic House in the Hudson River Valley extends his quest to engage with the natural world. The residence consists of an 1,800-square-foot living pavilion on top and, built into the hillside below, a skylit substructure containing the bedrooms, study, media room, kitchen, and breakfast room.
Property Values: Conservation easements protect the 350-acre site, boldly tamed by modernist landscape guru Dan Kiley. Plus, indoor and outdoor pools, tennis and boccie courts, and a three-bedroom guesthouse.
Talking Point: The refrigerated cheese room.