From Margaret Everton on February 9, 2011 in New York
What better way to balance a hectic New York life than to go off the grid on the weekends? This is exactly what fashion stylist and interior designer Scott Newkirk does in the spring. While his weeks may be filled with meeting up with a client on Park Avenue or working at Coach, his warmer-weather weekends are spent off the grid in this 300 square-foot house in Yulan, New York.
A complete reverse of the hectic city atmosphere, Newkirk’s weekend dwelling is void of running water and electricity. Theres no computer (gasp!), no TV, and no digital clocks. Newkirk can slow to a natural rhythm and wake on his own, take a daily bath in the nearby brook.
Having lived close to his land already in a wood-frame tent that burned down, Newkirk soon after came across the 1973 book, A Guide to the Woodbutchers Art, which champions the eco-architectural concept of constructing dwellings from scavenged materials. This got Newkirk thinking.
In the fall of 2003 he began sketching what would become his weekend retreat. Working with local professional Craig Petrasek, Newkirk created a post-and-beam frame with handmade windows and glass-paneled fronts. Downstairs panels slide open while the upstairs panels pivot. A 12-foot strip of window across the rear overlooks part of his 50-acre estate. Reminiscent of the best childhood forts, this getaway provides a slow-moving haven from the city that never sleeps.