Seminary Hill Cider Mill


New construction

Construction Type


Building Type



PHIUS+ 2018

About the Project

Seminary Hill Cidery is a 2-story, 9,350 SF building that houses an organic hard cider production facility, a tasting area, a commercial kitchen, and an event space overlooking the Delaware River Valley. The project is the first of its kind in the fermented beverage industry to achieve Passive House certification.

Project Name: Seminary Hill Orchard & Cidery
Certification type: PHIUS+ 2018
Location: Callicoon, NY
Builder: Baxter
Architect: River Architects
Size: 9,350 SF
Status: Complete
Year completed: 2021

The building is a modern take on a classic bank barn where the change in grade is used to provide on-grade access to both levels. The upstairs tasting area and event space capture the stunning views of the river valley and the organic apple orchard below.

The lower level holds the cider production and cold storage. No chemicals or cleaning agents are used in this process. The water used to wash the fruit and the equipment is sent through the on-site grey water management system. Site lighting and signage are full-cut-off, dark-sky compliant. Photovoltaic solar panels help off-set the equipment energy use.

The project is the first of its kind to receive Passive House certification world-wide. The key building components are comprised of cast in place concrete walls with Poraver expanded glass aggregate, SIPS panels on heavy timber framing, high-performance windows and doors along with continuous insulation, air-barrier and weather barrier. The locally sourced stone veneer base and the vertical larch slat rainscreen provide the classic exterior aesthetics. All of the larch exterior cladding and interior paneling for the project were re-used from the Tappan Zee bridge pylons.

“My childhood was spent exploring Hudson Valley’s barns – many that don’t exist today. This experience inspired the wood-slatted entryway and its enticing play of shadows during the day, which transforms into a lantern at night.”

-James Hartford, Principal and Creative/Technical Partner, River Architects, PLLC.