alexallen studio’s recent renovation of a house located in new paltz, new york, is a practice in simplicity, efficiency, and low maintenance. originally designed by john bloodgood in the 70’s, the single-family residence was clad in t-111 siding without insulation and in desperate need of an exterior renovation, a new roof and a mechanical systems overhaul. adding to this challenge, the client had requested to use materials that would require little to no future maintenance.

alexallen studio new paltz house new york designboom
east elevation
all images by alan tansey




for this reason, alexallen studio selected shou-sugi ban wood as the visual focal point of the exterior. this ancient japanese technique of preserving wood by charring its surface, is highly resistant to the elements, attractively weathers over time and requires almost no maintenance. fiber cement paneling was also chosen for its weather resistance, sustainability, and its cost-effectiveness. the new exterior reflects the interior spaces with the shou-sugi ban highlighting the house’s main double-height living space. a reveal running around the house divides the wider cement panels at the base from the narrower cement panels above and also marks the house’s the second level.

alexallen studio new paltz house new york designboom
north elevation




alexallen studio stripped the exterior and windows down to the studs in order to fully insulate, replaced the windows with triple glazed windows and installed a new mini split system to replace the old electric baseboard heaters. the new siding acts as a rain screen and added sunscreens further protect the house from the elements. the result is an aesthetic and performative upgrade that would require little to no future maintenance while retaining the integrity of the existing floor plan and interior spaces.

alexallen studio new paltz house new york designboom
north elevation

alexallen studio new paltz house new york designboom
detail of east elevation

alexallen studio new paltz house new york designboom
sunlight through sunscreen on south elevation

alexallen studio new paltz house new york designboom
east elevation



designboom has received this project from our ‘DIY submissions‘ feature, where we welcome our readers to submit their own work for publication. see more project submissions from our readers here.


edited by: juliana neira | designboom



    have something to add? share your thoughts in our comments section below.

    comments policy
    LOG IN
    designboom's comment policy guidelines
    generally speaking, if we publish something, it's because we're genuinely interested in the subject. we hope you'll share this interest and if you know even more about it, please share! our goal in the discussion threads is to have good conversation and we prefer constructive opinions. we and our readers have fun with entertaining ones. designboom welcomes alerts about typos, incorrect names, and the like.
    the correction is at the discretion of the post editor and may not happen immediately.

    what if you disagree with what we or another commenter has to say?
    let's hear it! but please understand that offensive, inappropriate, or just plain annoying comments may be deleted or shortened.

    - please do not make racist, sexist, anti-semitic, homophobic or otherwise offensive comments.
    - please don't personally insult the writers or your fellow commenters.
    - please avoid using offensive words, replacing a few letters with asterisks is not a valid workaround.
    - please don't include your website or e-mail address in your comments for the purpose of self-promotion.
    - please respect jury verdicts and do not discuss offensively on the competition results
    (there is only one fist prize, and designboom usually asks renown professionals to help us to promote talent.
    in addition to the awarded designs, we do feel that almost all deserve our attention, that is why we publish
    the best 100-200 entries too.)

    a link is allowed in comments as long as they add value in the form of information, images, humor, etc. (links to the front page of your personal blog or website are not okay). unwelcome links (to commercial products or services of others, offensive material etc. ) will be redacted. and, ... yes, spam gets banned. no, we do not post fake comments.


    a diverse digital database that acts as a valuable guide in gaining insight and information about a product directly from the manufacturer, and serves as a rich reference point in developing a project or scheme.

    architecture news