WOLFHOUSE – A House with History Receiving a Kitchen with History

Newburgh, New York, USA

Set atop a hillside with a panoramic view over the Hudson River, this classic mid-century modern home recently announced its completed restoration featuring a one-of-a-kind collaboration with USM Modular Furniture: a sustainably built kitchen constructed of reused USM parts.

The Wolfhouse was built in 1949 by the preeminent American architect Philip Johnson and commissioned by Benjamin V. Wolf. It bears much in common with Johnson’s most famous creation, The Glass House, erected the same year. These storied early works bear the architect’s hallmark style: open-plan spaces with seamless circulation and plate glass walls offering expansive views of the surrounding natural landscape.


The new owners Jiminie Ha, Senior Director of Graphic Design at the Guggenheim Museum, and Jeremy Parker, founder of the creative agency Good People, have purchased the building in 2020. Since then, they have meticulously restored the Wolfhouse to its original condition.

As creative directors, Jiminie and Jeremy prioritise sustainability and inventive self-sufficiency within their practise. They have extended this to every detail of the home’s rehabilitation and interior design, sourcing vintage furnishings and salvaged architectural pieces to finish the restoration, which included sinks, tubs, and trim pieces.

“We recognise the harmful effects of planned obsolescence. It's our responsibility as designers to lead with smart sustainability at the forefront of our practise, not creating more waste, but working with what we already have,” states Jiminie Ha.

While true to the original floor plan, the kitchen’s cabinetry provided an opportunity for some creative licence. The owners sought out steel options, a common material in mid-century kitchen cabinetry, and found the iconic USM Haller system to be a natural choice for the kitchen rehab.

Together with their USM consultant they designed a kitchen that acknowledges both the home’s past and future with a popular mid-century colour palette, yet fully constructed of pre-owned USM parts to create a uniquely designed and sustainably built USM kitchen.

With a desire to avoid “new” materials and seek lasting products, USM proved to be the perfect partner for the Wolfhouse kitchen. USM furniture is known for its longevity thanks to the high-quality materials and modularity principle, making it forever adaptable. The company was the first in Europe to be certified by the Greenguard Environmental Institute for the low particle and chemical emissions of its products and the USM Haller modular system carries the Cradle to Cradle® certification, the global standard for healthy, fair and sustainable products.”

Sustainable Design
During its lifespan, USM can be redefined again and again – this makes USM a valued, consistent companion for life, and generations. Learn more about the circularity of USM!

If you want to purchase a USM Haller piece yourself design it now in our online configurator, or find your local sales partner here.