Montagnaro House

LocationGhent, NY
Size3,000 sf

The client selected Mapos to design a low-maintenance, year-round, second home utilizing the ultimate in green building design methodologies, all on a limited budget. Views to the outdoors were paramount, as well as accommodating the needs of a multi-generational family including four bedrooms, a flexible studio space for her artwork, and a wine cellar for his winemaking.

The elongated rectilinear plan is oriented to the West to ensure every room had access to great views of the Hudson River Valley. This also allowed cross breezes to passively cool the house in the summer, but invited the low winter sun to reach far into the interior, augmenting the radiant heating system. These passive strategies mean that the house was well on its way to better efficiency before the mechanical systems and technologies were even considered in the design process. The house also features the next generation of roof integrated PV technology and geothermal heating, with no VOC materials throughout, and a below-grade rainwater reclamation cistern for irrigating the client’s extensive organic vegetable garden.


The sloping site and limited budget created unique opportunities in the creation of a custom home that could comfortably exist off the grid.

Extensive solar studies were conducted in order to design a custom screen on the West façade that would shade the house from the summer sun, block western winds, and allow the penetration of winter sun.