Curbed National: How Designer Russel Wright and His Midcentury Estate Forecasted the American Home

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The home and quarry pool at Manitoga, Russel Wright’s residence in Garrison, New York. As part of the home’s artist-in-residency program, Stephen Talasnik built a series of floating reed structures, on view this season. All images provided by Manitoga/The Russel Wright Design Center unless otherwise noted.

When you step into the secret room Russel Wright carved out for himself at Manitoga, the industrial designer’s mid-century estate in Garrison, New York, the vision he had for the site comes into focus. Carefully sculpted from a former granite quarry in the Hudson Valley, it’s a home that not only reflects nature, but resides in it. You can admire views of the large, day lily-lined quarry pool, fed by a waterfall Wright specifically designed with 15 cascades for its aesthetic and acoustic properties. If the breeze is strong enough, you can marvel at the movements of the “Martha Graham Girls,” a grove of landscaped grey birch trees that move like modern dancers in the wind. And you can view the entire residence, a low-slung, Japanese-style, glass-encased home and studio that seem to organically rise out of the rock.

Wright predicted the back-to-nature, DIY movement of the 1960s >>

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