Eco Village Chic

Hudson Springs, the sustainable village adapted for lovers of good food just two hours from New York

In the collective imagination, an eco-village is seen as a community of people who have decided to live together in in the middle of nature, inspired by the ideals of sustainability, culture and, once in a while, spirituality. Instead, imagine an eco-village that connects people with the joys of nature, takes it slow, and puts together all the elements of eco-sustainability but with an elegant new look. The village can be a place that combine aspects of sustainability with today’s widespread convenience. Far enough from a major urban center to fully appreciate a relevant change of scenario, and yet close enough to easily get back to the city whenever needed. It’s not a pipe dream, but an ongoing project in Upstate New York being developed by an Italian-American architect, Peter Lombardi.   The Eco Village is to be completed in the next two years and is only two hours away from the beating heart of Manhattan. 

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From families to young couples to over-fifty New York singles who want nothing to do with a life of withdrawal in solitude: the target audience -people who have shown some interest in buying (or renting) a home in Hudson Springs so they can enjoy life in natural surroundings without, however, giving up the amenities (business spaces, schools, the gym and spa!)- is extremely varied.

The entire village is fully self-sustaining thanks to two working farms, gardens and greenhouses with crops that are strictly organic. The great interest in organic food has a place in the non-GMO seed library, which runs an exchange system with other organic food centres. A lot of interest has been expressed in classes which teach how to cook and farm organically. There are even courses for people who want to live in the eco-village for just a day. And given its proximity to the big city, the experience is within easy reach, as Peter Lombardi  explains:

“Upstate New York is a very advanced region when it comes to 100% organic crops, where ancient techniques meet the new”. 

“The proximity to a metropolis like New York is a great opportunity for city- dwellers to experience a new way of living without having to travel too far. Its an open and accessible space for everyone to rediscover how to live in full contact with nature. The people who will live here must contribute to community life.  This is precisely one of the goals underpinning the project: to build a diverse community that contributes to the well-being of the village with its own specific character and professionalism”. 

However, the strategic advantage of being close to the Big Apple is not the only reason that prompted Lombardi to select this area: “In Upstate New York, there is a very strong movement for 100% organic farms. This is the main reason that prompted us to choose this area as the site of the eco- village: here we will use ancient farming techniques alongside modern methods. But, above all, there is already a tremendous awareness and an organic culture forming around this theme that is growing stronger. It is an awareness that is not found elsewhere in the United States, where organic food is not necessarily always available and where growing food that is not clean is a widespread practice. This often leads to the contamination of neighbouring fields. Instead, from this point of view Upstate NY is different.”

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“In our project, the sustainable buildings that make up Hudson Springs produce more energy than they consume”.  

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It’s an oasis where architecture and environmental planning combine ancient practices with modern knowledge. It’s a vibrant and sustainable community founded on the universal principles of design, proportion, balance and harmony and on the theory of golden ratio to link man’s creations with nature. The interior and exterior designs foster a feeling of peace and contentment.

There is the idea of a language that unites everything and everyone while respecting the things that make the location special.

“The choice of colours and materials is based on the characteristics of the area where the village is located, because we want to truly respect the local environment.

The houses, for example, are made with blocks of straw. It’s an ancient technique that dates back thousands of years, and in addition to its low cost and ease of construction, allows an improvement in air quality. These houses are breathing, they are alive!” argues Lombardi. “Another interesting aspect is that each house in Hudson Springs produces more energy than it consumes. With a NET Positive system,  we use clean energy to recharge the batteries, store it, and also sell the surplus».

“In our village, every night the artificial light dims or brightens depending on the amount of moonlight”. 

Hudson Springs is also the first step for a format that is planning to go around the world. Starting with Florida and continuing to Morocco, the idea is not too remote to land in Europe within the next few years. Its a format who’s objective is the ability to adapt to the realities of the place in which it is built. It is repurposed and indeed enhancing local traditions. In Upstate NY for example, a place original to Native Americans, there is a desire to keep alive one of their old traditions. In fact, the top of the hill was once used as a beacon where bonfires could be set to communicate with other tribes. Hudson Springs will be built on this piece of land and a solar powered light  at the top of the hill will be built to flash and signal  special events. Although we are accustomed to solar energy, what about using moonlight? “For the exterior lighting of the village there will be a Lunar Lightning system, which perceives and measures the light of the moon, adjusting the supply of light in the eco village. Each month following the cycles and phases of the moon, and especially on full moon nights, the artificial lights are lowered to make room for this wonderful moonlight. It’s a way to save energy and reduce pollution, but, most important, it also enables the inhabitants to fully enjoy one of the most important cycles of nature, connecting fully with the Universe and becoming one with the stars »

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