A remote rural site along the Taconic Creek, a tributary of the Hudson River prompted this exploration of the relationship between house as a man-made object in the landscape and the country house as an escape from the manmade, which uses culture to maximize the experience of nature. Tree-trunks lodged along the banks of the creek became an inspiration for the formal massing of this picturesque house. The relationship of the Savage House's two beam-like elements echoes the stacking of trunks, which are washed, roots and all, downriver during stormy winters and deposited along the bank, forming natural bridges and jetties. Man-made detritus also gets caught in these natural barriers as flotsam. Over time, the force of the water altars both natural and cultural artifacts, rusting cans and eroding the wooden trunks. The house evokes the found objects of these man-made forms in nature, and suggests the reciprocal impact of natural and man-made forms. While mostly invisible to its neighbors because of its isolated setting, the house will nonetheless be a cultural intervention into an otherwise pristine environment.The house is situated on a steep wooded hillside overlooking the flood plain of the Taconic. Beyond the creek banks, gently rolling apple orchards of the Hudson Valley extend in a vista that terminates in the range of Catskill Mountains. The cantilevering of the upper level over the creek maximizes this view for the living areas of the house: music room, sitting room, kitchen and dining. Low-floating fireplace pits and openings to the sky define this series of spaces. A shaft of glass and steel penetrates this level and provides circulation, via a circular stair, to the lower level. This level, turned thirty degrees from the upper, is deeply embedded in the riverbank, and contains the sleeping rooms and library. Here, glazed surfaces open to the dense woods, which surround the house. Above, at the ground plane, a lap pool is situated along the lower level axis, ending in a cascade, which seems to meet the creek below.The house provides two orientations to nature for its residents, and suggests also two kinds of man-made artifacts in the environment. The lower level puts the residents at the level of the tree trunks, close to and partly beneath the earth, and near the rushing waters. Made of stone and concrete, it suggests the forces of erosion and burial, the ultimate erasing and merging of the man-made and the natural. The upper level is glass and core-ten steel, which over time, will be expected to rust to the patina indicated in the renderings. This level also dominates its view, and makes no pretenses to being part of the land. Like the cans and mobile homes one passes on route to the property, it is unapologetically man-made. But it indicates through its ever-changing materiality that the human element does not go untouched by nature, and is a reminder that even the most sensitively conceived manmade escapes into nature put powerful and evocative forces into a reciprocal interplay.