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LUXURY HOME quarterly

march 2011

WILd West

American desert Homes CHen + SuCHArt StudIo brings refined living to rugged terrain

A peek inside Shanna Bender’s +mod-chic living space and home office MARCH 2011

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contents FEATURES

Building an Oasis Chen + Suchart Studio LLC breathes life into desert homes with a twist on expected regional designs. Through a combination of traditional and modern aesthetics, the firm brings a new voice to the American suburban desert.

page 64

The Mirage Robert Stone Design’s Acido Dorado is a high-style house that defies the conventions of traditional desert architecture. Created with mirrored overhangs and three colors of acid-tinged metallic gold, the space redefines the concept of a “mirage.”

page 80

Blurring the Lines David Hovey has created his own desert oasis in the upscale community of Desert Mountain in Arizona. The stunningly controlled design of the home allows the focus to remain on the surrounding landscape.

page 94

Melding into the Landscape Garett Carlson is a landscape architect who has fused the beauty of Joshua Tree’s rugged terrain with the functionality of an eco-friendly abode to create a truly indoor-outdoor feel.

page 100

A Historic Perspective Swaback Partners has carried on the design philosophies of Frank Lloyd Wright in its desert homes, embracing the concept that a house should be of the site, not on it.

Photo: Bill Timmerman; cover photo: Brad Lansill

page 104

p 64 DEEP REFLECTION Bricks are mirrored in the reflective glass of Chen + Suchart’s Yerger residence.

ON THE COVER Designed by Robert Stone, Rosa Muerta is a stunning home that creates an arresting juxtaposition between built structure and natural landscape. Situated deep in the Mojave desert, the building works within its surroundings in a stunning and unique way. page 80

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contents

p 162 acclaim Custom-home projects of note 27

Indulgence off the Strip

28

A Desert Oasis

SHANNA BENDER Shanna Bender, founder of Design Studio 15, discusses the design strategies she applied to her own home.

BUILDERS Construction firms specializing in peerless residences 30

Derek Nicholson Inc.

33

Nugent Design Build

34

Engelman Construction Ltd.

35

Rosbeck Builders

DESIGNERS Creative minds in interiors, landscapes, and furnishings 38

Barbara Gisel Design

41

A Shoucair Design and East Block Studios

Designer Showcase An in-depth look at some of the industry’s most unique designers 44

Fury Design

49

Garrow Kedigian Interior Design

54

Arnn Gordon Greineder

the plans A showcase of sleek, modern architecture— and the blueprints that started it all 108

Webber + Studio

113

shugart bates

the teams

architects Providing concepts and programs for deluxe homes 119

Tomaro Design Group

122

Harris Architects Inc.

124

Shapiro & Company Architects Inc.

126

Morgante Wilson Architects

127

Bruce Roadcap Architecture

130

Christopher Rose Architects

132

Hawaii Island Architects, LLC

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Partnerships and collaborations between architecture pros 134

BKSK Architects LLP

138

Hilton-VanderHorn Architects

140

Selin + Selin Architecture

142

WESKetch Architecture

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contents

PLUS

Editor’s Note

page 10

What’s New Industry news, awards, and product innovations page 16

Calendar Trade shows and special events in the coming months page 18

On the Rise Spotlighting designs that stimulate the senses page 20

Behind the Lines featuring Jake Phipps page 26

Directory

page 158

Products+Services Spotlight page 160 At Home With Shanna Bender

page 162

p 26 stellar mirror Designed by Jake Phipps jakephipps.com

Vacation Homes Second homes and getaways across the globe 145

Homes of the Caribbean

149

Key Biscayne

DISTINCTION Serving a unique niche in the custom-home industry 152

Macy Architecture

154

Meditch Murphey Architects

156

LiteSync Inc.

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editor’s note ONE WITH THE HILL This home, designed by Chen + Suchart Studio, exemplifies the prominent design aesthetic in the American desert landscape—a connectivity of building and terrain.

I am excited to present this first monthly issue of LHQ, filled with homes that work not only as stand-alone structures, but also work within the natural landscapes in which they reside. The wise words of one of the most iconic architects of the past century, Frank Lloyd Wright, fully explain the design aesthetic that pervades our feature “The Wild West” (p. 62). According to Wright, “No house should ever be on a hill or on anything. It should be of the hill. Belonging to it. Hill and house should live together each the happier for the other.” Each of the homes we feature work perfectly, in their own way, within their surrounding landscape. This melding of structure and nature is particularly evident in the stunning terrain of America’s deserts.

Robert Stone is one of the forward-thinking architects we feature in our coverage of American desert homes. His stunning projects, Acido Dorado and Rosa Muerta, bring the concepts of culture and design to a new and challenging level (p. 78). “To make architecture that is meaningful you also have to understand the culture… the rock and roll, the sex and drugs, the politics and the power, the fake and the real,” Stone says. “If you suppress or ignore all of that, you can’t get the deep unselfconcious beauty or even the true natural landscape.” He embraces the natural landscape just outside of Joshua Tree, California, in such a surprising and harmonious way that the homes literally meld with their surroundings. Look out for our feature next month on creating the perfect funky, functional home office. As always, I hope that our coverage of the newest trends and design philosophies will motivate, inform, and inspire your work. Enjoy.

Molly Soat, features editor

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Photo: Bill Timmerman

B

ig news, dear readers—in an effort to bring you more outstanding designers, cutting-edge products, and stunning highend properties, Luxury Home Quarterly has gone monthly!


THE

ISSUE

NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2011 Honoring development, innovation, and a committment to excellence American Builders Quarterly速 is celebrating the best in American building and design with the 2011 Building Excellence Awards RECOGNITION: The first annual ABQ Building Excellence Awards have been launched to recognize achievements in architecture, design, and community planning. Winning projects will receive featured coverage in the November/December 2011 issue of ABQ. CATEGORIES: One residential and one commercial project will be designated as the Project of the Year, and awards and

honorable mentions will be given in over 15 categories across all residential and commercial building sectors. APPLY TODAY FOR THE 2012 AWARDS PROGRAM: Registration is now open for all categories in the second annual ABQ Building Excellence Awards. For more information on registration deadlines, a complete list of categories, and downloadable entry forms, visit americanbuildersquarterly.com/awards MARCH 2011

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LUXURY HOME quarterly

Subscribe to LUXURY HOME quarterly and be connected to the North American custom-home industry through a showcase of stunning projects, innovative professionals, and cutting-edge products.

Editorial

Research

editor-in-chief Christopher Howe

director of editorial research

features editor

George Bozonelos george @ bgandh.com

Molly Soat molly @ bgandh.com

associate editor JULY/ AU

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LHQ JULY / AU GUSt 20 10

Y R U LUX E M O H ly

Geoff George

correspondents Zach Baliva Daniel Casciato Ben Corbett Ruth Dávila Tricia Despres Julie Edwards Susan Flowers Dave Hudnall Laura Judy Amy Meadows Lee Posey Kaleena Thompson

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editorial researchers Holly Begle Ashley Brown Laura Heidenreich Gerald Matthews Heather Matson Bronwyn Milliken Hayley O’Hara Molly Potnick Erin Windle

A Compr

creative director

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Adam Castillo

Art

ehensive Look at the Custo

designer

m-Home

Monica Jost

Industry

photo editor Courtney Weber

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NEWS FLASH Industry, a new lighting and fixture collection by British design company Tom Dixon, gets its inspiration from industrial processes. Products include: Void, a unique lighting fixture; Peg, a stackable café chair; Offcut Bench, which is made from wood waste; and Jack, a “sitting, stacking, lighting thing.”

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what’s new

Industry news, awards, and product innovations

FIRST IMPRESSIONS Senso has released a collection that challenges concepts of traditional flooring.

MOBILE TECHNOLOGY

Brick manufacturer launches design-savvy app A brand new (and free) mobile brick selector from Ibstock (a brick manufacturer located in the UK), called Brick App, sends high-res sample photos and other info (specs, suppliers, etc), to Blackberries, iPhones, and other gadgets. The application was developed with maximum functionality to provide fast and easy access. With Brick App, a builder no longer needs to leave the jobsite to source building materials. Ibstock’s handy tool carries accurate information about more than 450 brick variations. With Brick App, Ibstock continues to set new standards in the industry. The free download is a natural counterpart to Ibstock’s online suite of tools that includes a brick selector, a mortar selector, and a brick calculator. Brick App users can search by size, style, color, and quality before locating the nearest carrier. Source: Ibstock

SERVICE OFFERING

INNOVATIVE MATERIAL

Senso takes flooring to a whole new level

Realty firm now offers home-warranty services

Senso and Dutch design-guru Marcel Wanders present a line for those frustrated with limited flooring options—the new Impressions Flooring Collection. Wanders, best known for his work with Droog, has partnered with Senso to create the company’s new line of dynamic 3-D floors. The collection is made with Senso’s unique FreezeTM technology, which represents the ultimate goal in resins: crystal clear polymers. The seamless resin floors boast dazzling patterns and hypnotic 3-D effects that turn flat surfaces into conversation pieces. David Bols, director of Senso, says about the partnership: “Marcel Wanders is at this moment one of the most important designers in the world. It is amazing to bring new, advanced products to market that carry the touch of creativity of someone like Marcel. He inspires us to bring technological development to life.” Designers now have a fresh and modern choice in floor design.

Despite plummeting membership numbers at the National Association of Realtors, Connect Realty amassed 1,200 agents in just two years. Now, the fastest growing real-estate firm in America has formed a new partnership with Buyers Protection Group (BPG), a consumerfocused service company. The Atlanta-based Buyers Protection Group is active in 30 markets and renowned for a suite of services that includes warranties and inspections. By selecting BPG as its preferred provider, Connect Realty arms its agents with superlative tools for meeting clients’ evolving needs. The decision continues Connect Realty’s practice of equipping its people for success and staying dedicated to agents and their clients. By offering strong service through Buyers Protection, the realty company is poised to maintain its torrid ascension. Connect Realty was founded in 2008 with corporate headquarters in South-East Texas.

Source: Senso

Source: Connect Realty

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what’s new Nominee DSI Entertainment’s Fernald Point project is a finalist in the Multi-Room AV Product of the Year category.

The Consumer Electronics Association announces award finalists

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Better Homes and Gardens partners with prominent real-estate firm Mason-McDuffie Real Estate, Inc. has aligned itself with Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate, becoming the largest new franchise in the BH&G brand’s history. Originally founded in 1887, Mason-McDuffie signed a long-term, strategic franchise agreement with Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate. The company remains independently owned and operated. The move caps a two-year period of similar partnerships made by Better Homes and Gardens, a powerhouse company with 7,000 sales associates scattered across 20 states. Now, the brand will expand deeper into the San Francisco Bay Area and other parts of Northern California as well as Northwestern Nevada.

INDUSTRY AWARDS

The Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) has announced its finalists for the 2010 Mark of Excellence Awards, a series acknowledging innovation in custom-home products, services, and installations. CEA’s Universal Design Home of the Year Award will go to an entry that fulfills specific needs with simple and flexible solutions. The project should highlight technology built to adapt to future needs so the home can evolve with the users’ abilities and

ASSOCIATION MERGER

interests. The Ultimate Home of the Year title for installations priced above $300,000 will be bestowed upon a project that demonstrates applied technical expertise of a high-tech system. Winners will be announced at the Mark of Excellence Awards Reception during the eleventh annual Electronic House Expo at the Orange Country Convention Center on Friday, March 26.

Mason-McDuffie is offering BH&G its pool of 1900 real-estate pros and 30 offices that will merge seamlessly into Better Homes and Gardens, a company focused on the new technology methods and digital initiatives popular with nextgeneration brokers. The fast-growing entity will operate as Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Mason-McDuffie and use tools such as the proprietary PinPoint direct-marketing tool to reach modern mobile and online consumers.

Source: The Consumer Electronics Association

Source: Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate

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CUSTOM PRODUCT

Ango presents one-of-a-kind light fixtures Available as floor lamps, pendant lamps, and tabletop lamps, these beautiful decorative lighting fixtures by Ango are strictly one-of-a-kind. The company’s free-form lights are handmade from a variety of materials, including silk cocoons affixed to a hand-soldered wire matrix and bark wood sewn in clusters to a cotton grid. The materials

create distinctively soft white and yellow lighting that perfectly accents any room in the house. Argo’s original and artistic decorative fixtures are readily available online at angoworld.com and from many physical locations throughout North America and across the globe.

LIGHT CLOUDS AND GLOW WORMS Among Ango’s unique designs are the following: 1. Formation, made of silk cocoon 2. Midnight Moon, made of ebony silk cocoon 3. Snow Circle, made of mulberry tree bark 4. Twig, made of a hand-cast polymer with tapioca

Source: Ango

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calendar

Trade shows and special events in the coming months

Art Chicago Merchandise Mart, Chicago, IL

Art Chicago® 2011, the annual international fair of contemporary and modern art, brings together the world’s top emerging and established galleries. Art Chicago offers curators, collectors, artists, and art enthusiasts a comprehensive survey of current and historic work from artistic masters in a wide variety of media. Art Chicago is North America’s premier fair committed to intelligent and relevant educational programming, exhibitions, and special events while also providing a unique showcase for artists, museums, and cultural institutions from other key regions and US cities. artchicago.com

April 29May 2

Electronic House Expo 2011

ARCC Spring Research Conference

Orange County Convention Center, Orlando, FL

Harmonie Park, Detroit, MI

Electronic House Expo (EHX), a TradeshowWeek magazine Fastest 50 event for five years running, is the fastest-growing trade event within the $13 billion custom-electronics industry. Held annually and sponsored by CEA’s TechHome Division, EHX attracts a large and dynamic audience of custom-electronics integrators, retailers, and allied tradespeople to interact with leading suppliers of audio/video entertainment, digital convergence, networking and communications, comfort and control, and security and electrical products. ehxweb.com

The Architectural Research Centers Consortium, Inc. (ARCC) is an international association of architectural-research centers committed to the expansion of the research culture and a supporting infrastructure in architecture and related design disciplines. This year’s conference, featuring the theme “CONSIDERING RESEARCH: Reflecting Upon Current Themes in Architectural Research,” will explore issues of how research can help designers and architects reflect on various contemporary environmental, sustainable, social, political, formal, and psychological paradigms.

MArch 25-27

april 20-24

arcc2011.ltu.edu

The OKC Home Show State Fairgrounds of Oklahoma, Oklahoma City, OK

Showcasing the latest products and equipment in the homeapril remodeling industry, the OKC Home Show expects to attract 1-3 thousands of visitors. The event will feature the latest, most innovative manufacturers, kitchenware, home-electronics, appliances, bathroom items, furniture, home-repair, and decorating products. The OKC Home Show is Marketplace Events’ latest addition to its trade-show lineup, and it will focus on interior and exterior home improvement and remodeling.

homeshowokc.com

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KBIS Kitchen & Bath Industry Show 2011 Las Vegas Convention Center, Las Vegas, NV

KBIS Kitchen & Bath Industry Show is one of the premier annual events in the interior-design industry. See the latest products, learn about cutting-edge design trends and technology, build relationships with existing suppliers, and establish new vendor connections. At the conference, held in the massive Las Vegas Convention Center, designers are able to network with other professionals and add to their educational experience. kbis.com

april 26-28

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Green Building & Design

gb&d

A comprehensive look at the structures and concepts of tomorrow, and the masterminds behind them For your FREE subscription visit gbdmagazine.com MARCH 2011

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on the rise

Popular trends and rising stars in the luxury-home market

the gilded age Gold accessories are the ultimate in opulence and indulgence. Here, we feature a few products that will add sparkle to any home’s design.

golden collection opinion ciatti The Ciatti family has been involved in furniture design and manufacturing for more than half a century, and its creations have only grown more intriguing and eye-catching with the passage of time. Their crinkled-by-hand aluminum stools (left) are available in more traditional black and silver, but buyers can also choose gold for an added level of flash. One of Opinion Ciatti’s most popular modular-kitchen designs celebrated its 20th anniversary in 2008, and in recognition of the milestone, the model can now be purchased with a festive custom gold finish. opinionciatti.com

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on the rise

opulent lighting LGTM-Xo1 Champion innovators in the lighting industry, the people of Belgium-based Dark have collaborated with Swedish designer Carl Hagerling to introduce a hanging light fixture shaped for the Space Age. The gold reflectors create a warm, soft light ideal for setting the mood at the table or in any room in the home. dark.be

precious textile Frisian wouw Composed of marigold-tinted felt, these carpets—designed by Claudy Jongstra as one of 12 carpets for Edition—add a level of pop to the room thanks to their bright color and irregular shape and texture. The felt is made of wool Jongstra collects from her very own flock of sheep, a practice which ensures her designs remain environmentally friendly. ruckstuhl.com

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on the rise

feet first Many designs start from the ground and work their way up. LHQ has found some imaginative, inviting floor coverings that will be the focal point of any design, not just an afterthought.

crinkled WOODEN carpet Add a touch of geometry to the living room with any of several wooden carpets from Böwer. Designed by Elisa Strozyk, the rugs add a threedimensional quality to the floor space, and they make a great conversation piece. Each of Böwer’s wooden carpets has a cloth base with patterned wooden tiles laid out on top. The wood comes in several varieties, including oak, mahogany, and beech. Böwer also offers rug options with and without tassels. boewer.com

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on the rise

tufted Field of flowers Bring the outside inside with one of nanimarquina’s textured area rugs. Each one is composed of hundreds of flower- and leaf-shaped pieces of felt that have been woven together by hand and dyed in shades of purple, red, green, or ecru. Even on the floor, it won’t be easily ignored.

nanimarquina.com

dyed Kyle bunting Hides Don’t expect the rusticism of the Old West with these cowhide rugs from by Kyle Bunting, a hide-focused carpet and upholstery company based in Texas. The hides come in myriad colors, patterns, and motifs, including Jet Stream (left) and Caravan (above), and they can be used as cozy area rugs or artful wall coverings. Either way, they’re sure to add a touch of style. kylebunting.com

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on the rise

multi-medium These unique products for the home all share one characteristic—they are all composed of a variety of different materials. These pieces will stimulate not only your sense of sight but your sense of touch as well.

light A colorful reading table lamp with double incalmo joins, mezza filigrana, as well as a large piece of mould-blown glass makes Cupola a true masterpiece of traditional blown glass. The mirror-polished whitebronze occasional table and the Belgianmarble base both turn this tour de force of craftsmanship into a practical and solid piece of design. madebymeta.com

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Photo: lee mawdsley, courtesy of meta

Cupola


on the rise

pottery CRUDO The Crudo collection consists of unique pieces for a stylish tablescape. The collection is from Atipico, designed by Barbara Busatta, Dario Buzzini, Robin Bigio, Martin Maler, and Olivero Zanon, who were united by the desire to relate and reinterpret the pureness of daily gestural expressiveness through the preciousness of materials and their transformation. The entire collection explores the combinations of raw materials and their workmanship. It includes various types of containers for food and liquids, designed in elementary shapes, in basic white and brown with a splash of bright color.

vanessamitrani.com

storage Object Designer Mats Theselius and artist Andreas Roth call their storage unit for minus tio “a poetry in steel, glass, stone, wood, and plastic.” It’s a unique piece in five different materials, where the materiality itself is an important part of the experience. Swedish marble is combined with brass, corian, glass, and oak. All units are able to open, making the unit not only gorgeous but fully functional.

minustio.se

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behind the lines

CUSTOM COLLECTIONS FOR LUXURY HOMES—AND THE designers BEHIND THEM

JEEVES & WOOSTER

ISIS With its unique patented folding process, the ISIS chair folds almost completely flat in one effortless movement.

Stellar Mirror A limited edition of 25 pieces, the Stellar mirror takes inspiration from the physical attributes of cut diamonds. The mirror’s reflective qualities, while traditional at its center, radiate out with a ring of 750 individually sized and angled mirrored sections, delivering it to the eye as one sparkling entity while creating an ever-changing focal point.

Jake Phipps A London-based designer and furniture maker, Jake Phipps’ designs seem simple to the eye but, on second glance, reveal a much more complex and clever creativity. Or, as best put by the designer himself, “I try to create authentic objects designed specifically to produce an affecting response with effortless functionality, playful aesthetics, and a natural elegance.” Phipps graduated from John Makepeace’s furniture-design school, Parnham College, in 1999, and began his career as a cabinetmaker, designing and fabricating one-off pieces on commission. In a response to an increase in demand for his work, he decided to set up his own design studio in London in 2005, and began concentrating on designing products for larger-scale production, including working with renowned corporations and designers such as Google, Tommy Hilfiger, and Philippe Starck. In 2011, Phipps plans to work with a high-profile UK fashion designer on an exciting new line, and for his own work, is researching his current fascination—the art of reflection and light refraction—with the intent of utilizing the knowledge in several new products. He will also launch three new additions to his design line-up: A multi-layered low table, an incredibly thin desk lamp, and a custom product using car doors. “I think my products have a uniqueness about them that creates a blend of art, design, humor, and invention,” Phipps concludes. “And, hopefully, a touch of British flair.”

Loveseat Beautifully sculpted from cedar and English oak, the Loveseat is suitable indoors and out. The Loveseat’s swirling form suggests the complimentary principles of balance and unit, with the seats facing in opposite directions so a couple can share a conversation with their different perspectives providing a more complete outlook on the world around them.

–julie edwards

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acclaim

custom-home projects of note

Indulgence off the Strip CityCenter’s exclusive residential development, Veer Towers, dazzles spectators with its inclined 37-story glass towers. Each tower boasts 335 residences starting at $348,000 plus an amenities floor complete with a rooftop pool, hot tub, sundeck, and bar. Additional amenities include recreation, media, and fitness rooms; meeting spaces; bike storage; mailrooms; private-valet and concierge services; and 24-hour security. Veer Towers has earned CityCenter’s sixth LEED certification, making it the premiere residence within CityCenter’s sustainable community. In addition to its environmental significance, Veer Towers features some of the most prodigious pieces from CityCenter’s public Fine Art Collection, including Richard Long’s mud wall drawings and large-scale installations, displayed on the east and west tower walls. –lee posey

Credits Architect: Murphy/Jahn Public Space + Lobby Design: Francisco GonzalezPulido Residential Design: Dianna Wong Architecture + Interior Design Sculptor: Richard Long

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accl aim

A Desert Oasis Mithun Architects and Clodagh Design created a livable representation of the desert in Miraval Villas by using native plants, adobe materials, reclaimed wood, and local stone. Each villa features floor-to-ceiling glass doors and windows, inviting the feel of the landscape in and providing striking views of the Santa Catalina Mountains. Once inside, residents can enjoy neutral-toned textiles and furnishings alongside fireplaces, a gourmet kitchen, and luxurious bathrooms. Each villa boasts private trellis-covered courtyards that house a hot tub, private shower, fire pit, Viking grill, and inviting patio furnishings. Distinctive and conscientious, Miraval Villas are LEED certified and integrate seamlessly into the Miraval experience of holistic well-being. Residents have access to all programs, services, and amenities provided at Miraval Arizona Resort and Spa, and can participate in a community of mindful neighbors, guests, and staff. Limited real estate is still available, starting at $2.25 million with the option of furnishing packages including local artwork, appliances, and fixtures hand-selected by Clodagh Design. –lee posey

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acclaim

Credits Architecture: Mithun, Inc. Design: Clodagh Design Kitchen Appliances: Sub-Zero, Inc., Thermador

Bathroom fixtures: Watermark, Kohler, Steamist Outdoor Grill: Viking Range Corporation

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builders

Construction firms specializing in peerless residences

A DEDICATION TO EXCELLENCE IN DESIGN, MANAGEMENT, AND CONSTRUCTION by Daniel Casciato Launched in 1999, Toronto-based Derek Nicholson Inc. has quietly built a stellar reputation in Ontario’s residential-construction marketplace for its renovations and custom-designed buildings for Canada’s most esteemed architects. As a full-service company, it provides excavation, footings, foundation walls, waterproofing, framing, steel installation, concrete formwork, drywall, and finish-carpentry services for clientele. The company was founded by its namesake, Derek Nicholson, who graduated with an architecture degree from Ryerson University. Prior to gradu-

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ation, Nicholson was offered a position with the City of North York (later amalgamated into Toronto) Parks and Recreation Department as an architectural technologist. Nicholson was subsequently promoted to a senior management position with a staff of 25 employees responsible for the design, development, and construction of the city’s 300 parks and 80 buildings. “It was through these responsibilities that I was able to engage and collaborate with the top landscape architectural firms in the city,” he says. “Projects undertaken were widely published and won many national and international awards.”

The Weathering Steel House This private residence, designed by Shim-Sutcliffe Architects (shimsutcliffe.com) and built by Derek Nicholson Inc., features a materially rich, dark, and abstract composition of oxide-red weathering steel. The L-shaped house frames a reconfigured landscape created around shaped, tree-covered mounds and a sweeping meadow. Embedding into the center of the house, the linear, linked reflecting pool and swimming pool form an intermediary zone between the building and its landscape, weaving reflected light, motion, and sound into the heart of the project.

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Photo: Michael Awad

Derek Nicholson Inc.


Builders

The Galley Residence

Photos: Bob Gundu

The Galley Residence was the first project constructed with Donald Chong Studio (donaldchongstudio.com), one of Derek Nicholson Inc.’s major clients. The 2,400-square-foot house was built with a very modest budget in 2003—roughly $250 per square foot. It was a very difficult project to access, as the lot is only 17 feet wide and the house is 3 stories tall. This meant that Derek Nicholson could not use a crane to install the steel structure because it could not reach the back of the house, and overhead wires on the front prevented the company from working on the front portion. “We ended up installing massive beams and columns with simple scaffolding and block-and-tackle hoists,” Nicholson says. “The project has become a model for infill housing in the city and what can be achieved on small narrow lots, many of which—laneways and similar lots—exist in the city of Toronto.”

Upon leaving the position in 1999, Nicholson decided to form his own company and provide project-management services for a major architectural firm in the health-care sector, including a 70,000-square foot, $20 million project for a pharmaceutical company. “The company was formed to provide construction services for only contemporary architectural projects,” he says. “All of our clients seek contemporary works and the architects we work with design only these types of projects.” Two years later, Nicholson switched focus to concentrate on contracting and construction-management services primarily focused in the residential

market. Today his company retains a crew of up to 14 skilled personnel and focuses most of its work within a three-hour travel radius of Toronto. The company has achieved quite a bit of recognition through awards and publications; many of its projects have been published in national and international newspapers, magazines, and books. One of its most published projects is the Galley Residence, which has won two awards including a City of Toronto Urban Design Award and a Design Exchange Award. It was also named one of dwell magazine’s “100 Houses We Love from the Last 10 Years.” “Most of the projects we construct, regardless of dollar value, are well received by the architectural community,” Nicholson says.

Nicholson says the company has its sights set on contemporary projects, which it understands best and can build efficiently. Because of the company’s experience constructing similar projects in the past, architects who are assigned to design them have to spend less time explaining their design intent to his team. “We do very little advertising, and most of our projects are garnered through referrals or word of mouth,” Nicholson says. “We would like to be known for being approachable, easy to work with, and for delivering great value for money.” In addition to the work that his company does with established architectural firms, Derek Nicholson Inc. is focused on working with the next generation of emerging architects. Nicholson believes that his company needs to support the work of emerging firms and individuals because they will help shape the future and one day become industry leaders. “In the next few years, we will also start developing small-scale developments and look to partner with others abroad,” Nicholson says. “We will also start to become involved in nonresidential projects. The firm, while headed by myself, owes its success to our workers and dedicated trades. We are fortunate to have great clients and architects to work with and whose work continues to inspire and challenge us.”

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Builders

CHESAPEAKE CONTEMPORARY The cool and refined living area of this Chesapeake Bay home offers a clean and contemporary design. The open floor plan and high ceilings expand the view of the river.

Because Nugent started out doing cabinetry, the millwork of Nugent Design Build projects remains a signature aspect of the firm. “Most of our homes have some kind of highlight along those lines: a coffered ceiling, built-ins for the library, and paneling,” he says. “We’re good at it, and more importantly, we know how to do it cost effectively.”

Nugent Design Build BUILDING WATERFRONT HOMES To fit any style by David Hudnall Early on, Nugent Design Build’s area of expertise was specialty cabinetry, but over the course of the past 25 years in business, the firm has evolved broadly—it now offers a full-service design-build package, and owner John Nugent balances his architecture background with his craftsmanship experience to offer clients personalized designs with exceptional attention to detail.

well with the community,” he says. “Sometimes we’re working with a bungalow-style community and we need to design to fit that style. When designing a waterfront home, there is more of a Chesapeake Bay-style approach to our designs. Other times we are working within the existing footprint of a home, which inherently has many challenges, and we really have to get creative.”

Today, Nugent Design Build has established a stronghold in the market for waterfront homes in Maryland and northern Virginia and has grown consistently throughout the economic recession. “We’ve just gotten busier and busier,” Nugent says. “The current economic climate is such that many homebuilders are suffering right now. The fact that we continue to stay busy is a testament to the quality of work, efficiency, and service we provide.”

One such case was the Kyle Residence, a West River, Maryland, home on Chesapeake Bay. Nugent worked within the existing footprint to design a home that was modern with a cottage style. The homeowners, originally from New Zealand, sought out the edgy architectural style they were used to back home. “New Zealand architecture is very different, very contemporary—boxy with simple lines, glass, and flat roofs,” he says. “But West River is a classic cottage neighborhood.” In the end, they compromised. “There are columns and balconies, but there are also very large overhangs that keep the sunlight off the house and windows,” Nugent says. Inside, the floor plan is open and minimalistic, and a glass staircase serves as a focal point. “It’s as contemporary as it can possibly be while still fitting into the cottage look.”

The home projects, ranging from new homes to additions and renovations, are mostly located along the shoreline of Chesapeake Bay and the Potomac River. Nugent stresses the importance of tailoring his home designs based on location. “Part of the home-design process involves capturing the essence of the home’s surroundings and ensuring it blends

The firm’s relationships with its suppliers, particularly Smoot Lumber and Ferguson Plumbing, are a major key to its success. Ferguson installs all of Nugent’s kitchen appliances and cabinets, and Smoot Lumber installs windows, framing, and interior doors. “Those are two very large, reputable companies that we have standing beside us on our houses,” he says. “Anything they supply, they install, and that keeps our warranties in check. Especially with something like kitchen cabinets where doors are always getting scratched; it’s just one phone call, and it’s replaced immediately. It enables us to focus on the work we’re good at.” Nugent Design Build takes on roughly ten projects a year. New-home construction typically runs between $600,000 and $1.2 million. The firm prides itself on being able to deliver any home in six months or less—a timeframe clients find very appealing. “Homeowners who dread a long, drawnout construction cycle can rest assured that we’ll have their home complete in under six months,” Nugent says. Nugent Design Build has plenty of designers on staff focused on creative approaches to home design. “I do the big strokes and pass it around the office. We all contribute to the design,” he says. “We’ve assembled an excellent team.”

A MESSAGE FROM Ferguson Enterprises, Inc. More than 57 years of industry knowledge, unrivaled service, and an unwavering commitment to professional customers positions Ferguson Enterprises (ferguson.com) as the leader in wholesale distribution year after year. Builders, plumbers, and other professionals trust our knowledge of the residential and commercial construction industry and turn to us for our technical knowledge. Customers appreciate our long-standing tradition of developing strong relationships, and they recognize that we will do whatever it takes to ensure their success.

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Engelman Construction Ltd. Utilizing infill development as a sustainable solution in dense urban settings by Zach Baliva

Engelman Construction Ltd.

Quality, sustainable custom homes.

6908 Roper Road. Edmonton, AB, T6B3H9 O: 780.434.8880 F: 780.435.9465

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trees and beautiful views for prices similar to raw land totals,” he says.

Upon graduating from college, Daniel Engelman launched his Edmonton, Alberta-based firm, Engelman Construction Ltd., in 2009; but its roots date back to 1955, when his family started Engelman Homes. Engelman Homes took a brief hiatus during Alberta’s last housing boom. It might sound unusual for a custom builder to halt work during busy periods, but Engelman Homes discovered something interesting about the prolific time: quality was suffering. “People were in such a big hurry to build that is was nearly impossible to find decent trades and deliver a quality product,” Engelman says. “We couldn’t turn the keys over and walk away satisfied, so we decided to stop building.”

Now, Engelman is developing one such project at Riverdale and completing four others for specific buyers in Edmonton. The high-end custom home Engelman is building to showcase and sell incorporates the company’s design innovations and sustainable practices. An in-house custom millworker builds pieces for each Engelman kitchen, and the builder used renewable bamboo for the Riverdale house. Other green pieces include FSC-certified hardwoods, concrete countertops, and efficient appliances.

When the housing bubble burst, the recession hit. The family regrouped, and the younger Engelman started his own business with a new strategy in May, 2009. Today, the new company focuses on high-end infill projects that use LEED principles to showcase green designs. Infill projects involve demolishing existing buildings in favor of new structures. When done correctly, the process lends itself to sustainable construction by preserving raw land. When demolition is necessary, Engelman recycles and repurposes every available piece of a structure, often donating leftover pieces to Habitat for Humanity and its local ReStore.

The existing 800-square-foot bungalow was built in 1920 and was falling apart when Engelman discovered it on the MLS. He purchased the home and demolished it, leaving an unusual lot. (The space, once subdivided, is 54 feet wide and 60 feet deep.) Zoning issues made development tricky, but Engelman and his colleagues negotiated with the community and the city to get necessary variances. “People in the town like our infill projects because they are excited to see something nice and new in their community,” he explains. A 2,153-square-foot modern home has replaced the old bungalow.

Edmonton is second in Canada’s provincial population to Calgary, but it still covers 265 square miles. With more than 700,000 residents in the area, the city’s population density is 2,764 people per square mile. Infill development helps people live closer to the city while revitalizing old communities. “People want to have great homes closer to where they work and play instead of being forced out of the city,” Engelman says. Many downtown homes were built between 1920 and 1960. As the homes continue to age and deteriorate, owners must plan vast renovations or demolish their homes and build anew. As a part-time real-estate agent, Engelman noticed the trend early and found many lots becoming available in the inner city. “With infill development, an Edmonton builder can get land in the river valley with big

The home has one significant design feature—it was built “upside down.” “We studied the lot and the neighborhood and decided it was best to flip a standard design,” Engelman says. While most homes have bedrooms on the top floor, the Riverdale home’s main floor holds two bedrooms, a living room, a dining room, and a kitchen while the second floor has a 600-square-foot living room, the master bedroom suite, and a walk-in closet. Just off the large living room sits a deck of almost 300 square feet that overlooks the river. Engelman says the home, which also has a bar and fireplace, was built to appeal to the eclectic area’s hip and urban population. With each project, his company is showing how new developments in dense spaces can bring excitement and life to established communities.

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Builders

Rosbeck Builders MARTHA’S VINEYARD’S EMERGING CUSTOM-HOME BUILDER by David Hudnall

Photo: Renee Oteri

In Edgartown, Massachusetts, the Martha’s Vineyard town where Rosbeck Builders is headquartered, local architects have been gravitating to a building style that hearkens back to houses of centuries ago. “Certain coastal zones have high limitations,” says Peter Rosbeck, founder of Rosbeck Builders. “We favor things like gambrel-style roofs and expanded capes. I think we are building houses that are architecturally sound and compliment the history and uniqueness of this beautiful island.” A custom home-building business with seven employees, Rosbeck Builders works with prominent local and international architects and constructs complex, challenging homes on Martha’s Vineyard. Recently, the firm renovated an Edgartown home and salvaged the historical parts of the structure and implemented them into the construction of a new residence. “The exterior exhibits all the characteristics of a typical downtown Edgartown old whaling home, but the interior lends itself to the

modern conveniences of today’s everyday living,” Rosbeck says. Outside, a white clapboard front with Essex Green shutters and doors gives way to a wraparound porch that engulfs the entire rear of the property. Inside, a front foyer bleeds into an open floor plan. Pale yellow custom cabinets are accented by turquoise, hand-baked lava-stone countertops from France in the kitchen. The bathrooms feature exotic, vibrant-colored tiling with modern-styled fixtures. “The clients made very few trips to the project during construction but were very complimentary about the updated technology that we have within our company,” Rosbeck says. “It enabled them to monitor the project, follow the schedule, and be closely involved with the decision-making process.”

The Harbor-Front Home This large, gambrel-style rook home in the town of Vineyard Haven, MA, sits along the harbor in the back and along Main Street in the front. It perfectly matches its grand style with the neighborhood landscape, giving the impression that the home has existed for many years. The lawn is a meticulous masterpiece rolling all the way to the edge of the beach, much like older estates in Newport, RI.

This kind of client satisfaction is essential to Rosbeck Builders’ success, particularly because it’s

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SnS

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The space atop the home, the widow’s walk, has become another popular island trend to work into a design. Clients utilize such a space to enjoy ocean views, sunbathe, and host small parties. “And many of our clients want exterior showers installed—for after they get out of the pool or to rinse off sand after a day at the beach,” Rosbeck says. “We’ll use high-grade mahogany or cedar and try to incorporate ocean views into the design as well.” Garages are now frequently referred to as carriage houses and tend to be built with bead-board walls and ceilings, arched doors, and herringbone-patterned brick floors. Rosbeck Builders’ relationships with its employees and subcontractors are another area that Rosbeck lists among his company’s achievements. “I see my-

self as a leader of superior craftsmen that specialize in different phases of construction,” he says. “That includes roofing and siding specialists or interior trim carpenters with expertise on stairs. All employees complement each other to make the whole project a home.” The firm is also capable of assisting in the design process and working directly with architects for site planning and permitting. The collaborative culture at Rosbeck Builders sometimes even results in longer-term involvement with clients. “Many clients enjoy the journey so much that they insist that we stay involved in the maintenance and caretaking of their property,” Rosbeck says. “We’ve developed such strong relationships with our clients that they often last well beyond the scope of the project.”

A MESSAGE FROM SNS Hardware At SnS Architectural Hardware we believe that every piece of hardware in your home or your business (your home away from home) is the jewelry that people touch and look at everyday! We know you deserve top quality hardware and we want to provide you with only the best around.

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We Take the “HARD” Out Of Hardware

located on a relatively small island where word-ofmouth has greater influence. “Clients want luxury, but they also want durability, style, and products that are conscious of health and the environment,” Rosbeck says. He reports that set-ups with multiple appliances—refrigerators, dishwashers, and stoves, especially—are in high demand, as are customary features such as saunas, steam rooms, workout rooms, billiard rooms, and media rooms.


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designers

Creative minds in interiors, landscapes, and furnishings

Barbara Gisel Design WARM, Homey SPACES That Meet One’s Needs by Susan Flowers

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ments for multinational corporations and hospitality venues in New York and Las Vegas. The firm’s personal touch was evident in a recent residential project located in Philadelphia’s suburban horse country. Created in cooperation with John Milner, one of the area’s best-known architects, and Griffiths Construction, the firm produced a modern house and barn that look as

though they belong in the 1700s. The 8000-squarefoot home features reclaimed wood, antique millwork, and reproduction lighting from the Richard Scofield Historic Lighting Company. Period paintings from McClees Gallery in Haverford, Pennsylvania, add to the home’s 18th-century feel.

luxuryhomequarterly.com

Photo: Tom Crane

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania-based Barbara Gisel Design (BGD), led by founder and owner Barbara Gisel herself, strives to create warm, livable spaces by steering clear of the formal and untouchable. “A lot of what makes an interior space interesting is art and accessories,” she says. “I always think it’s a compliment if somebody says a room is welcoming.” Founded 35 years ago, BGD focuses heavily on residential projects—with occasional assign-

FINE DINING The dining room in this 18th-century-style country home features reclaimed flooring, antique wood paneling, historic lighting including two chandeliers from Richard Scofield Historic Lighting (scofieldhistoriclighting.com), and art provided by McClees Gallery (mccleesgalleries.com).


designers

“Whereas most design firms grow out of the talents of one individual, BGD’s strength springs from a proprietary process that starts with intensive planning and concludes with a comprehensive delivery of detailed execution.” Barbara Gisel, Founder

When a Denver entrepreneur turned to the firm to design her combined live-work space, the BGD team relied on local artisans including cabinetmaker Michael Shea. An orange wall of the 1800-square-foot apartment echoes the color of the lights in the train station across the street, creating the feel of a living space in perfect harmony with its surroundings. Gisel is proud of the results. “We produced a cityscape design that paid full respect to the urban surroundings without forsaking a welcoming warmth and comfort,” she says.

Photo: john chew

The firm’s projects are successful in large part because of the connection the team forms with customers. The first client meeting is usually devoted to looking at pictures. Gisel has built a large library of sample fabrics, wallpaper, pictures, and accessories in her office, and clients take advantage of these resources during what is frequently a learning process. “The most critical phase of any project is the planning,” Gisel says. “Our planning process goes much deeper than most because we probe for our clients’ most fundamental objectives. It’s not about our preferred styles but rather a comprehensive inquiry that will enable us to marry form and function in a distinctive but natural outcome. When any environment we create is described as welcoming, I know we’ve hit the mark.” As her business has grown, Gisel has built a team that is a source of pride and inspiration. Some employees have been with her for as long as 25 years. “Whereas most design firms grow out of the talents of one individual, BGD’s strength springs from a proprietary process that starts with intensive planning and concludes with a comprehensive delivery of detailed execution,” she says. “Our team exhibits a chemistry that promotes a smooth transition through different phases of even the most complex projects. Our talented and diverse

EATING EXOTICALLY The dining area is located just off the kitchen. The koa-wood dining table and leather chairs are by Berman Rosetti (bermanrosetti.com) and the pendant is by Hudson Furniture Inc. (hudsonfurnitureinc.com).

range of professionals are the key drivers of our successful approach to design. Each person in my office has his or her own expertise. Everything is done as a team, never just as one person. We work well together, and there’s no ego.” Always interested in other cultures, Gisel enjoys travel, searching for distinctive art, furniture, and accessories during her trips; some of her finds can even be seen in the firm’s gallery space—a shop on the third floor of the Haverford headquarters building. During the past year, she’s visited India, Turkey, and South Africa. “I love to travel,” Gisel says. “I always return home with concepts that add new dimensions to our work.”

Gisel says she feels fortunate: Although many people toil in jobs that offer few rewards, she’s found happiness in her profession. “We love what we do,” she says. “I feel really lucky to have formed a business that has brought so much joy. Design is woven into everything I do.” A MESSAGE FROM SMITH & WATSON Smith & Watson (smith-watson.com) has been regarded as the premier source for the highest quality traditional and English country furniture available for over 100 years. Smith & Watson is a third-generation family firm, and is grateful for their long-term relationships with truly creative interior designers such as Barbara Gisel Design.

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It is the mission of Paradise Custom Kitchens, Inc. to continue to exceed our customer’s expectations… In the design of kitchens.

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designers

Bridged Duplex The illuminated steel staircase leads into the living quarters and a gym room. The mirrored wall behind the staircase opens up the space and brings additional, reflected light into the living room.

A Shoucair Design and East Block Studios TWO TALENTED DESIGNERS WITH ONE SHARED VISION by Susan Flowers

Photo: Alexo Wandael

Their backgrounds and talents might differ, but Peta-Gaye Shoucair and Angelika Wrzesinska find that working together creates results that transcend what each could achieve separately. Shoucair, owner of A Shoucair Design, and Wrzesinska, owner of East Block Studios, have fashioned a partnership that delights clients on two continents. According to Wrzesinska, by operating in the United States and Europe, the two firms’ collaboration pushes the companies to the next level in project management and execution. “So far we have maintained separate identities but a joint vision that is now entering its second year,” she says. A recent apartment project in New York City’s Union Square illustrates the benefits of this joint

vision. The home was designed for a filmmaker who was not afraid of experimentation and selfexpression. The project called for many customdesigned solutions, from new bathroom tiles to self-irrigated planters. “This was a renovation of a spacious but disarrayed penthouse residence by Union Square, which we opened up into an airy, clean, colorful interior full of sunlight, energy, patterns, textures, and life,” Wrzesinska says. Similarly, a particularly imaginative project, created in collaboration with Kushner Studios, involved bridging an apartment and a duplex from what was once a female preparatory school. An iron bridge was replaced by a lit-from-within steel, concrete, and glass structure, and the decrepit interiors gave way to a modern, comfortable home

where the client’s commute to work is a 30-foot stroll through an illuminated catwalk. Both projects were completed for East Block Studios, but the two designers worked in harmony on each one. “Angelika and I have very different ways of approaching design, but what makes us such a fantastic design team is that we also complement each other through skill, personality, and respect for the craft,” Shoucair says. “That gives us the ability to connect and relate to so many different personality types, and it makes us able to understand spatial needs and desires.” With only two designers and two interns, the team takes on 10-15 projects per year. Shoucair’s expertise in spatial planning, lighting, and execution perfectly complements Wrzesinska’s talent for conceptualization and design aesthetics. They take pride in offering one-stop shopping for clients, managing projects from start to finish, and coordinating the efforts of contractors, electricians, and painters. Although time-zone differences create logistical challenges, the benefits of working in both the US and Europe outweigh the drawbacks. As world travelers, both Shoucair and Wrzesinska appreciate

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designers DESIGNER DUO Peta-Gaye Shoucair and Angelika Wrzesinska, of A Shoucair Design and East Block Studios, respectively.

“I’ve always loved art, the way you could create something out of nothing and give it life, the ability to draw feeling and emotion from people.”

the opportunity to soak up other cultures. “The customs, trends, and even the colors vary in such a great way, it is always pushing us to be better, to learn more, to explore more, and to challenge every limit of ourselves through design,” Shoucair says. Their divergent backgrounds are the root of their success. A native of Kingston, Jamaica, Shoucair draws inspiration from her Lebanese and Jamaican heritage while Polish native Wrzesinska makes regular trips back home. It was Wrzesinska’s immigration to the US at 19 that inspired her interest in design. “Seems like it all started in 1997, which is the year I moved from Poland to New York,” she says. “I befriended a circle of people who were passionate food and wine aficionados, and together we spent many evenings exploring the culinary realms of the city. I caught myself being consistently intrigued by the design solutions and details of the interiors. I noticed how light, materials, proportions, colors, and the layout of any given space can affect the whole psychology of a social or intimate experience.”

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Wrzesinska’s design partner has always had a knack for aesthetics as well. Art has been a lifelong passion of Shoucair’s, but her fascination with design emerged in college. “I’ve always loved art, the way you could create something out of nothing and give it life, the ability to draw feeling and emotion from people,” she says. “But it was in college, after walking from a seemingly bland exterior into a breathtaking interior, that I realized that through interior design and interior architecture you could also enhance a mood and create an emotional experience. It was at this moment that I fell in love with interior design.” Both designers enjoy working with clients as much as the creative process, and they’re on a first-name basis with all of their customers. “We always want to be seen as a design firm that connects with our client first before anything else. People work with us because they like who we are as people,” Shoucair says. That personal touch, combined with the designers’ considerable skills, should put this firm on the map in no time at all.

A CELESTIAL WALKWAY The “sky bridge,” constructed by Kushner Studios (kushnerstudios.com), connects an Upper East Side doctor’s apartment with his office in a neighboring building. The bridge used to exist as a link between a 19th-century girls’ prep school and its dorm building. Now the rusted iron framework has been replaced by a steel-and-concrete structure, with a glass ceiling and an under-lit glass floor. The doctor’s commute to work is a 20-second walk between two layers of illuminated glass. On one side of the bridge, the original small rectangular window openings were preserved for urbanlandmarking reasons, and on the other side the triangular windows outline the new steel structure of the bridge.

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Photos: Alexo Wandael

Peta-Gaye Shoucair, Owner


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designer showcase designer showcase

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designer showcase

Fury Design At Fury Design, great effort and care goes into the selection of every item in a client’s home, but Eric Rymshaw, James Photo: (portrait) Lawrence Wiener

Fulton, and Joshua Thibault make this complicated process look easy. The three designers, who operate Philadelphia’s Fury Design, focus on creating calm, strong, well-scaled in-

New Jersey Vintage The interior of this New Jersey residence plays up a 1960s, Mod-era feel. In the living area (left) a cluster of 1950s reproduction Nelson Bubble Lamps (velocityartanddesign.com) hover above a leather and boucle Harry sectional and ottoman (bebitalia.it). The vintage lounge chairs (knoll.com) are covered in soft, smoky blue velvet inspired by the pool just beyond the windows. Just off the foyer is a playful powder room (above) papered in a large-scale floral design (romo.com).

teriors. “It’s about the whole room,” Rymshaw says. “Every surface is considered.” text by Susan Flowers

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designer showcase

The Philadelphia Townhouse

F

ury specializes in a seamless blending of the historic with the modern and the contemporary with the traditional. Two recent projects illustrate the effectiveness of the company’s approach.

With a house as an addition, a 150-year-old barn in Amagansett, New York, was converted into a Long Island-style shingle home with a contemporary look. “The barn became the great room, and the rest of the house is an appendage off the barn,” Thibault says. The client was so delighted with the results that he had Fury Design take on another equally challenging project. Two row houses on Philadelphia’s Society Hill, both dating to the 1850s, were made into a single dwelling. Fury preserved the historic exteriors to maintain consistency with other homes in the neighborhood, but he juxtaposed the restored main staircase with a glass-enclosed courtyard, giving any visitor the feeling that he or she is in a modern home—without a jarring contradiction outside. Fury integrated the present with a more recent era during another project, which began as a renovation of a New Jersey home but became the complete tear-down and rebuild of a 1960s-era ranch house. The client had planned for this home to be a guest house, but the added space, upgraded lighting, lap pool, and other amenities pleased her so much that she kept the new home as her main residence. Both projects succeeded because of Fury’s emphasis on comfortable, approachable spaces as opposed to what Thibault calls a stage-set look. “The warmth comes from the tactile quality of spaces,” Thibault says. “We prefer wood or fab-

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Photos: Don Pearse Photographers, Inc.

LAMPS AND LEATHER The headboard wall in the master bedroom is upholstered in faux leather. Vintage lucite lamps were purchased at auction and sit atop glass mosaic nightstands (dennismiller.com).

The formal living space is anchored by a raw-silk area rug (fortstreetstudio.com). The Vladimir Kagan sofa and lounge chairs and the Fran Taubman glass-and-twisted-steel cocktail table are from Ralph Pucci International (ralphpucci.net). A pair of goat-skin drink tables (lorinmarsh.com) add whimsy. The simple leather ottoman (ddcnyc.com) provides additional fireside seating, and a glass floor lamp (poltronafrau.it) illuminates the dramatic backdrop of a Pat Steir painting. Custom-designed steel-and-glass doors open onto the private interior courtyard (below left). A staircase behind the Ipe lattice wall leads to a second-floor roof deck.


STEPS TO SUCCESS The pièce de résistance of the home is a restored 1850s winding staircase. Malabar metallic silver paper (leejofa.com) lines the walls. The stair tower is crowned by Taraxacum 88, a 1980s icon from Flos (flos.com).

“It’s an interesting mix. Jim is a retailer doing interior design, I’m an architect doing design, and Josh brings a lot of diversity in his experience. There is no one voice.” eric rymshaw, principal

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The Amagansett House Originally a 150-year-old barn on the property, the great room has a soaring timbered ceiling. Casual linen slipcovered furniture sits on a Sisal area rug (sisalrugs.com). The free-form wood cocktail table is custom made. Leather J.J. chairs (bebitalia.it) continue the soft, neutral color scheme.

“We don’t just leap into every fashion trend. We work to create an interior that’s timeless.” joshua thibault, principal

ric wall coverings and light-filtering window treatments. We don’t do fashion for fashion’s sake. We don’t just leap into every fashion trend. We work to create an interior that’s timeless.” Clients who trust Fury Design have asked the designers to help with their homes in other locations as well, so Thibault, Rymshaw, and Fulton have been able to take on projects well outside their Philadelphia home base. These client relationships are important to the three partners. Also active in the city’s art world, the contacts the designers have formed through collecting have proven invaluable to their business. The designers also credit their success to their diversity. “It’s an interesting mix,” Rymshaw says. “Jim is a retailer doing interior design, I’m an architect doing design, and Josh brings a lot of diversity in his experience. There is no one voice.” “My first love was architecture,” Rymshaw says. “I didn’t really know how much I enjoyed interior design until later, but I was always interested in drawing and houses, and I was always visual.” Rymshaw’s love of design revealed itself as he pursued his architectural education and obtained his degree from Drexel University. Unlike Rymshaw, Fulton’s interest in design was evident from an early age. “I was always interested in floor plans,

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room setup, and colors,” he says. “I moved the living room around when my parents weren’t home. My dad would trip over the furniture, but my mom always supported me.” Fulton attended the University of the Arts in Philadelphia, and earned a degree in Environmental Design. Lastly, Thibault’s fascination with interiors also developed early. “My family built houses,” he says. “I spent a lot of time on construction sites as a child, and from an early age, I was aware of lackluster interiors.” Thibault attended Drexel University’s design school and then worked for a small, well-established Philadelphia firm. He joined Fury Design in 2001. The three partners have deliberately kept the firm small in the years since, with total staff varying from four to six employees, including Kyle Nelson, who Rymshaw calls ”the gatekeeper” of client statistics, orders, and other vital matters. Fury also regularly employs interns from Drexel University in a win-win partnership—the firm gets the services of talented young designers, and the new-tothe-field interns gain valuable real-world experience. Over the next few years, Rymshaw, Fulton, and Thibault hope to take on additional long-term projects, and with the loyal following they’ve acquired, these three should have no problem realizing their ambitions.

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COLORS COUNT For this space, Kedigian wanted to keep things modern but colorful. The artwork, in conjunction with the location’s views, set the backdrop for simple, clean lines with explosive accents.

Garrow Kedigian Interior Design Before founding Garrow Kedigian Interior Design roughly a decade ago, Garrow Kedigian had studied architecture at McGill University in Montreal. Today, his studies continue to influence his approach to his work. “The architecture is what sets the tone and tells you what you need to do with the space,” he says. TEXT by David Hudnall

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The Upper West Side Home This Manhattan apartment renovation called for the fusion of three separate units. “It was a spatial challenge,” Kedigian says. “The client wanted a very warm, modern design—nothing standoffish or sterile.” To achieve that balance, Kedigian decided to thread color throughout the space. Custom upholstery (hollyhunt.com) was also incorporated into the project, and Kedigian selected and sourced the artwork. Columns that couldn’t be moved were clad in wood to create a more natural, blended feel, and after piecing and segmenting the design together, a new floorplan was developed.

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arrow Kedigian, upon graduation, worked for six years at William Hodgins Inc. in Boston and later for several New York design firms. By the time he established his own firm, he’d found an aesthetic that struck a chord with clients. “People always react to the style of our work,” Kedigian says. “It’s a very pared look—very clean, no fringe trims. It’s a simple look.” A simple look, perhaps, but one that’s caught the eye of tastemakers like Architectural Digest, The NewYork Times, House Beautiful, and Bill Stubbs’ PBS program A Moment of Luxury. A Montreal native, Kedigian made the move to the Upper East Side of New York City in 2000. There, he lives in a fifth-floor apartment that also includes

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The Kip’s Bay Show House Kedigian was given the smallest room in the house (a cube-shaped, 95-square-foot former maid’s quarters) and converted it into a multiuse space. “The room was very small and devoid of architectural character, so we ended up using paint to give it character,” Kedigian says. Panel lines on the walls extend to the ceiling, giving the sense of a jewel box and pulling the space together. Because the room had no natural light, Kedigian constructed an oculus in the wall.

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general contracting construction & cabinetry

“The goal is usually a streamlined, classic look— not too fussy or traditional but definitely steeped in tradition.” garrow kedigian, designer and owner

painting & wallpapering decorative painting & murals leafing & staining tinted plaster & stucco veneziano

a studio attic space, where, with the help of his two assistants, he draws up interior-design plans for an elite, New York-centric client base. “I specialize in high-end residential design,” he says. “98 percent of what I do is residential. The goal is usually a streamlined, classic look—not too fussy or traditional but definitely steeped in tradition.” Project types vary for the designer. Much of Kedigian’s work comprises apartments and townhouses in Manhattan, but he also frequently designs interiors for the vacation homes of his New York clients in places such as the Hamptons and Palm Beach, Florida. A recent renovation in Greenwich, Connecticut, found Kedigian converting a horse barn into a home. He incorporated a screened-in porch, a guest room, and a game room into the design. And as a way of preserving the historical authenticity of the structure, he researched and obtained antique oak-wood beams formerly used in barns. In another renovation project, in a leafy Maryland neighborhood, Kedigian adapted a Greek revival home for a young family, and he modernized it but maintained its classic aura by opening it up to light and air and using sustainable materials and fabrics. “Good design is always sustainable and lasting,” he says. Kedigian frequently finds himself working on pieds-à-terre–urban vacation spots like the 700-square-foot Upper West Side residence he designed for a family that uses the space as a weekend home. One of Kedigian’s unique design characteristics is his ability to maximize space; the Upper West Side home now features an office space, full kitchen, and dining area. There are few homes of such a size that can sleep six comfortably, but this one does. With designs this accomplished, it’s easy to forget one of the most remarkable things about Kedigian—he’s only 37 years old. Traditional Home recently honored him on its list of “Twenty Young Designers To Watch.” With so many accomplishments so far in his career, it’s easy to see why.

A MESSAGE FROM Silver Lining Interiors I have worked with Garrow Kedigian for over ten years and I am still amazed at the ease in which he fuses traditional architecture with modern styling. Kedigian is demanding on quality yet is determined to provide his clients the best value. It is nice to work with a designer that is so interested in the contractor’s point of view and he always values our suggestions. It has been a pleasure collaborating with him over the years and I hope to continue our collaboration for many years to come.

S ILVER LINING I n t e r i o r s

2091 Broadway New York, New York 10023 212.496.7800 | 212.496.1012 FAX SILVERLININGINTERIORS.COM MARCH 2011

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A GREAT ROOM The steel window by Crittall (crittallwindows.co.uk) at the far end of the room illuminates the well-appointed living space. Once a barrel vault, the ceiling was replaced with an ellipticalarch inset with reclaimed beams. The project’s interior designer is Jane Antonacci (janeantonacci.com).

Arnn Gordon Greineder For William Greineder and Eileen Gordon, owners of the architectural firm Arnn Gordon Greineder, the creative process is all about listening to clients. “It’s always been important to make sure the client’s vision is in the forefront during hear at the end of a project that they are very happy and we have given them exactly the house they wanted.” Text by Susan Flowers

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Photos: Paul Dyer

the design process,” Greineder says. “It’s been rewarding to


designer showcase

The Portola Residence A post-modern structure in its former life, the house was transformed to capture a Tuscan feel. The formal dining room (left) features a faux-painted coved ceiling with a raised center and recessed lighting. The painting was done by Evans and Brown and captures the client’s interests in the violin. A large Venetian chandelier is centered over the table. Two breakfronts flank a pair of doors leading into the butler’s pantry, and the entry is flanked by two ornate antique columns. Fine woodwork was executed by Lencioni Construction Company (lencioniconstruction.com), including mahogany paneling featuring pilasters, complex crown moulding, and intricate wood beams in the family room (below). A massive limestone fireplace that was fabricated by Tuscan Resource (tuscanresource.com) centers the room.

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reineder says that distilling customers’ aesthetic preferences into homes that truly reflect their tastes and personalities is this team’s greatest strength. This client-based approach has reaped big dividends. In just six years, Greineder and Gordon, along with the firm’s original owner, Stephen Arnn, have made the company a popular commodity in San Francisco.

If being attuned to clients’ visions is the key element to this firm’s creative process, attention to detail is a close second. “Detail completes the vision and design by creating an architectural form with precise scale and proportion,” Greineder says. “Detail separates houses of quality from the ubiquitous speculation homes. Often it is the detail that the owner comes in contact with, and it needs to be the bridge between the large-scale elements—room size, windows, and doors—and the human eye and hand.” Details were essential to one of the firm’s recent projects in Portola Valley, California. With interior design by Jane Antonacci, the remodel of the 1970sera home features a phoenix motif on the fountain and the living room fireplace, both designed by the firm. The house also boasts mahogany paneling in the master dressing room and library, plus radiant heating in the floors, which are covered in stone or walnut. Additionally, wheat/gold-colored stucco and carved limestone windows add to the home’s Tuscan feel. Gordon says the Italian/Mediterranean style is increasingly popular among the firm’s clients, who are located primarily in the San Francisco Bay area. “The traditional architecture of the Mediterranean is a beautiful fit with northern California’s landscape and climate,” she says. Mediterranean style was also the basis for the firm’s design of a residence in Woodside, California, with interior design by Marian Wheeler. Several

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A TUSCAN LOUNGE An outdoor living room adjacent to the 75-foot lap pool provides shade from the area’s constant summer sun and facilitates the family’s enjoyment of the gardens. The comfortable space, furnished by Wheeler Design Group (wheelerdg.com), includes a wood-burning fireplace, reclaimed beam ceiling, and light fixtures designed by the architect and fabricated by Murray’s Iron Works (murraysiw.com).

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The Woodside Residence

Photos: Matthew Millman

Nestled within sunny meadows and wooded groves, the Woodside Residence sits atop a slight knoll overlooking eight acres of land with a creek running alongside it. Its Tuscan character is expressed through a layering of details, including 300-year-old roof tiles and antique chimineas from Cooritalia (cooritalia.com), highly textured fieldstone and stucco walls, wood windows fabricated locally by Brothers’ Custom Windows and Doors (brotherswindows.com) and embellished with leaded glass by the Hyland Studio (hylandstudio.com), and large steel windows by Crittal (crittall-windows.co.uk). The home also features wrought-iron work by Albert Borges of A&B Welding (abweldingmfg.com). The great room (above left) with its 17-foot-tall beamed ceiling and over-scaled fireplace carved in Italy provides wide-open vistas over the home’s generous limestone terraces to the woods and creek beyond. Interior design by Marian Wheeler (wheelerdg.com) reflects the owners’ desire for warmth and liveability over formal aesthetics.

reclaimed elements of the home were discovered on a trip through Italy with Alessio De Francesca of COOR Italia. Among the special touches are antique terra-cotta tiles, which are used to surround many of the windows, doors, and ceilings in two of the bedroom’s suites. Chimney caps for the main fireplaces are detailed with terra-cotta and inspired by the venting techniques of rustic barns in the Italian countryside. The portal set into the front face of the garage is an antique window surround found in Verona. Lintels for many doorways and soffits inside the house come from a huge chestnut tree, which had been chopped down prior to the architects’ visit. Reclaimed beams used in the living room, bedrooms, kitchen, and outdoor living room were found in a barn outside of Bolzano. Such projects are fulfilling for everyone in the firm, but although Greineder couldn’t be happier with his career, architecture isn’t what he originally

CUSTOM ELEMENTS A light-filled guest suite features the deceptively simple Tuscan elements that provide authentic character throughout the house: traditional terra-cotta tile ceilings, reclaimed-wood beams and lintels, and doors handmade outside of Florence.

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“The traditional architecture of the Mediterranean is a beautiful fit with Northern California’s landscape and climate.” eileen gordon, principal studio

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envisioned for his life’s work. “I was enrolled in a master’s program in Latin American studies at the University of Texas at Austin,” he says. “I happened to meet several architects and students, and as I got familiar with the architecture program, I realized this was the field of study I belonged in.” His master’s program required four months of study in Europe, an experience that still informs his work today. After graduation and subsequent positions with an engineering company and an architectural firm, Greineder’s career path took an unusual turn; he worked for the New Jersey Barn Company dismantling pre-Civil War English and Dutch barns. “The barns were bought by individuals interested in using them as houses or commercial retail structures,” Greineder says. “I worked with the architect to develop the barns into residential structures. I also built models of the barns to be used when clients were needing a three-dimensional visual example.” Like Greineder, University of Notre Dame graduate Gordon studied in Europe as part of her architectural education by spending a year in Rome. Her love for European style emerged prior to college, however. “During my last couple of years of high school I attended an international school in Germany where fluency in two languages was a graduation requirement,” she says. “Since my German was next to useless, I spent some weekends and holidays with family friends in Paris who were in the process of designing a new home in the south of France. They had architecture and design books and house plans all over the place— my first exposure to Mediterranean architecture. I was hooked.” Upon graduation from Notre Dame, Gordon worked in several architecture sub-specialties including civic and commercial structures, churches, and group housing for special-needs communities. She joined the firm in its original incarnation in 1998, and together with Greineder, purchased the company in 2004 from Arnn.

Arnn, Gordon, and Greineder, together with an intermediate and junior designer, take on three to four projects per year. Greineder says he also enjoys working with the firm’s regular stable of contractors, who provide an ongoing education in both construction and problem solving. Back home in San Francisco, this firm concentrates on delivering homes that illustrate clients’ dreams. For Greineder and his partners, the client’s satisfaction is the ultimate reward.

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Arnn, who founded what was then Stephen Arnn Design in 1976, shifted his focus to high-end custom homes in the early 1980s, and he continues to concentrate on that area today. In addition to his ongoing collaboration with the San Francisco firm, Arnn is returning to his Texas roots and reopening Stephen Arnn Design in Dallas.


ITALIAN DETAILS Niches and display areas provide focal points throughout the house to showcase the owners’ extensive Southwestern art collection. Interior and exterior stone walls were painstakingly constructed by skilled masons under the watchful supervision of RJ Dailey Construction (rjdailey.com), with antique Italian terra-cotta tiles sourced through Cooritalia (cooritalia.com) interspersed with American fieldstone from three separate quarries.

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WILD WEST Photo: brad lansill

american designers are challenging the concept of traditional desert aesthetics. their homes work within the context of the rugged terrain in unique and contemporary ways.


Acido Dorado, designed by Robert Stone


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BUILDING AN OASIS p64

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Photo: (building an oasis) bill timmerman

MELDING INTO THE LANDSCAPE p100

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THE MIRAGE p80

BLURRING THE LINES p95

Photos: (the mirage) brad lansill

A HISTORIC PERSPECTIVE p104

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BUILDING AN OASIS CHEN + SUCHART PUT THEIR OWN SPIN ON DESERT LIVING TEXT BY ZACH BALIVA PhotOS BY Bill Timmerman


Featured Projects 1. YERGER residence 2. DILLON RESIDENCE 3. MUMMY MOUNTAIN residence 4. Sosnowski residence

YERGER RESIDENCE While the project’s main focus is on the stunning view toward Camelback Mountain, the various spaces of the home rival the beauty of the natural surroundings.

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erhaps all designers would say adapting to their region is crucial, but adapting doesn’t simply mean conforming to expectations and accepting local trends across the board. Thamarit Suchart of Chen + Suchart Studio LLC is finding ways to respond to geography while still providing unexpected and exciting designs. The company might operate in the Arizona desert, but each Chen + Suchart home is a sparkling, innovative oasis.

Suchart started his practice with his wife, Patricia Chen, in 2002; they have spent the past eight years honing their design skills in an arid climate, and the Phoenix area provides a design-industry professional many opportunities for creative expression. Like other architectural designers, Suchart and Chen must respond appropriately to the terrain, but they strive to transcend typical

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desert work. “Too often, the language in our city is that of a very superficial façade and pastiche of what people deem is an appropriate language,” he says. Four Chen + Suchart projects—Yerger, Mummy Mountain, Sosnowski, and Dillon—showcase the firm’s aesthetic, which stands in stark contrast to the typical landscape-focused concept of desert luxury. “A project that has a great vista illustrates this well; even if that vista is unavailable, the house can turn on itself and set its own scene.” Suchart says. “A courtyard might become part of the daily experience and become equally luxurious.” The desert is the duo’s perfect locale. “It’s a little easier to do the work that we aspire to do here,” Suchart says, pointing to the region’s pioneering spirit as inspiration and encouragement. Clients often welcome creativity, and designers benefit from the freedom to try something new.

In 2009, Chen + Suchart completed a stunning home in Phoenix for two young professionals. A lot near the iconic Camelback Mountain led to a design capitalizing on the many available views. And since one of the clients owns a concrete and masonry company, those became two of the project’s featured materials. Entry from the street continues to a koi pond and negative-edge pool near the front door, and the home’s design captures the mountain without forcing one repetitive view. The central room combines dining, kitchen work, and living into one single space, which looks out on an exterior balcony and the view beyond. Best of all, sliding glass doors keep the vista unobstructed. Below, an exercise area opens onto a garden to continue the joint indoor/outdoor experience. A refined materials pallet of polished wenge millwork, stainless-steel countertops, terrazzo

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“Too often, the language in our city is that of a very superficial façade and pastiche of what people deem is an appropriate language.” Thamarit Suchart, Principal

FUSION OF FINISHES The interior finishes of the Yerger Residence juxtapose refined materials with raw, industrial elements to heighten the unique qualities of each. The home’s various interior finishes include polished wenge-wood millwork, stainless-steel countertops, white Carrera marble, and terrazzo flooring. These finishes enter a dialogue with one another through their MARCH 2011 thoughtful luxury home quarterly 67 configuration.


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flooring, and Bianco Venatino Marble flank the raw contours of the exposed concrete, blackconcrete masonry units, and weathered steel. “This contrast of materials allows for each of their inherent characteristics to be in constant dialogue with one another while heightening each others’ characteristics,” Suchart says. Typical challenges associated with desert building were overcome at Mummy Mountain, where Chen + Suchart performed excavation in rocky terrain. Building on the hillside took 15 percent of the budget away from what the project would have cost on a flat site. “We developed the project as a series of parallel, sandblasted concrete block walls that are configured in a way that allows the landscape and the views to flow freely through the spaces,” Suchart says. Expansive windows offer continuous views of several peaks. And, above the garage, a large balcony continues through sliding glass doors into the living room.

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In more dense neighborhoods, Chen and Suchart look inward to create pockets of living space instead of exploiting mountain views. Large Virendeel Truss frames that suspend a glass enclosed master suite above two lower bedrooms buoy the Sosnowski house, designed for a structural engineer. An exposed concrete slab at the lower level and raw ductwork overhead convey an industrial feel. The home is lavish but was achieved through simple means. “There is no exotic or special wood used in this project,” Suchart says. “We took everyday materials and embraced their latent beauty.” Again, operable and sliding glass walls all the loft-like interior to merge with outdoor pool and garden areas. Another project, The Dillon Residence, required an elaborate remodel in which the designers completed a fully contained courtyard. The husband and wife clients differed in style preference and compromised by requesting a blend of traditional

and modern flavors. “We stepped in to marry two seemingly disparate likes and thread both ideas as one unified experience,” Suchart says. The main house’s existing L-shape remained and was flanked by a new master suite and built to define the courtyard and pool areas. A mix of wood and stone provides modern detailing, and rusted metal cladding mixes in a contemporary element. A cage of river rocks help divide the space, and inside a slender kitchen with a modern fireplace at its opposite end floats to connect or divide larger living, dining, and family room areas. Although these desert homes have some overlapping features, exquisite touches and details make each one memorable. In a region where trendy homes can start to look alike, Chen and Suchart are defining their own style and helping clients build special Sonoran havens.

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1 YERGER RESIDENCE The site for this project has one main view to the east toward Camelback Mountain. The goal of the project was to focus the views toward the towering iconic landmark to capture it and have it constantly present in the experience of the house—all while creating more introspective moments within the structure. The project consists of a cast-in-place concrete base, upon which a floating, open-ended sheet-steel-clad volume and a masonry volume are situated. Entry from the street leads past a koi pond, through the entryway, and finally to a negative-edge pool that distinguishes the main public space of the home while offering a place of repose. The main living area of the house maintains the home’s overall open configuration and, in the process, manages to bring Camelback Mountain into the space. This openness is further enhanced by completely rolling back the sliding glass doors for an uninhibited view. Two guest bedrooms, also part of the

open-ended space, enjoy the same mountain view thanks to a building plan that keeps the bathroom and closet spaces along the west elevation. The master suite, by contrast, is more separated to control views and privacy. A study is located on the same level as the entryway and living space, but the master bedroom and bathroom are situated higher to keep the room above any prying eyes. The master suite is an introverted and focused series of interior spaces and exterior spaces that still manage to maintain a majestic view of Camelback Mountain. A sliding glass door in the far corner of the master bedroom opens directly onto the CMU volume in order to enhance the specificity of the gorgeous mountain view. The CIP concrete base houses a sunken garage and an exercise area that leads to a sunken garden in the back of the house. The exercise area can even be opened up to the garden space.

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yerger plans

“even if that vista is unavailable, the house can turn on itself and set its own scene. A courtyard might become part of the daily experience and be-

1 Three-Car Garage 2 Laundry 3 Mudroom 4 Exercise 5 Bath + Steam 6 Lounge 7 Garden 8 Balcony 9 Guest Bedroom 10 Bathroom 11 Living 12 Kitchen

13 Dining 14 Bar 15 Deck 16 Koi Pond 17 Entry 18 Pool 19 Study 20 Powder 21 Master Bath 22 Master Closet 23 Master Bedroom 24 Garden

come equally luxurious.� Thamarit Suchart, Principal

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2 DILLON RESIDENCE The Dillon Residence takes the form of a courtyardhouse typology. It is a remodel and addition to an existing home situated in a 1950s and 1960s neighborhood consisting of one-acre properties. The original L-shaped form was retained for the main house, while a new separate master-suite volume envelops a newly defined courtyard anchored by a pool on one end. This courtyard serves to promote the outdoors as part of the clients’ daily life. The language of the house takes on a modern tone while retaining some of the domestic qualities enjoyed by the clients. The master suite is configured as a separate volume and therefore is allowed to establish its own architectural identity that is free from the language of the original L-shaped portion of the house. This portion of the house has been remodeled to take on a more modern means of space-making, whereby the program of the living, dining, and fam-

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ily rooms are treated as one large space, minimally defined by a kitchen that floats in between. The language of the rusted corrugated-metal cladding on the roof at the original L-shaped portion of the house is extended to be the wall cladding at the master suite. A large gabion wall comprised of local Salt River rock serves as a backdrop to the courtyard space while establishing a thickened wall to afford privacy for this separate volume. The pool is treated as a destination that anchors the courtyard on its north end and can be opened to the courtyard by means of a large sliding gate.

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3 MUMMY MOUNTAIN RESIDENCE The project showcases an architecture that responds to the inherent qualities of the site, including privileged views of the larger context of the Sonoran Desert. The language of the house draws upon these existing traits and allows for a greater understanding of the project’s circumstances. A series of parallel sandblasted concrete block walls (CMU) are configured in a way that allows the landscape and the views to flow freely through the spaces. These CMU walls orient the spaces toward undisturbed views of Pinnacle Peak, the McDowell Mountains, Four Peaks, and the Superstition Mountains. Controlled openings within the CMU walls capture characteristics of the immediate site and landscape, specific views of the mountains beyond and the desert sky. A metal-clad roof is situated between the CMU walls and inflects to focus specific views based on the

home’s program. The configuration of Cor-Ten-clad metal-stud walls help edit out the immediate manmade context of the uninspiring neighboring houses and assist in focusing views on the landscape and mountains in the distance. In an effort to domesticate the otherwise raw spaces, the introduction of both veneered plywood and Level-5 plaster walls are articulated as veneers at specific surfaces of the exposed CMU walls in the interior spaces. The millwork is comprised of quarter-sawn Maple and white-stone countertops. The garages and entry court are located on the first level. The majority of the project’s program is located on the main level at one elevation due to the clients’ age. Two other bedrooms are located at different elevations and, by means of the section, allow for privacy and a more distinct focus on the specific qualities of views and the desert landscape.

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mummy mountain plans

We developed the project as a series of parallel, sandblasted concrete-block walls that are configured in a way that allows the landscape and the views to flow freely through the spaces.

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Guest Bedroom Single-Car Garage Two-Car Garage Bathroom Garden Master Bath Master Closet Master Bedroom Laundry

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Gallery Study Entry Courtyard Living Room Deck Dining Kitchen

Thamarit Suchart, Principal

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4 SOSNOWSKI RESIDENCE Sited in a dense 1950s-era neighborhood in Tempe, Arizona, the Sosnowski Residence takes the form of a courtyard house defined by three sandblasted standard gray CMU walls at the main level and an exposed Virendeel truss at the upper level that ultimately characterizes the project. The main level’s CMU walls define the major public spaces of the project, which include an outdoor courtyard, living room, dining room, kitchen, and koi pond and garden. The public spaces are also flanked by the garage and guest bedrooms, in turn providing additional privacy from the street and the neighbors. The outdoor spaces maintain an open relationship with the residence by means of two sets of 30-foot-wide sliding glass doors. The master suite resides in the Virendeel truss above. The integration of the courtyard and koi garden as essential parts of the daily experience enables the project to fully embrace the outdoor spaces of the front and back yards.

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BLENDING IN The natural desert landscape is allowed to grow in around the house so that the entire valley seems to flow right up to and through it. This concept, though subtle in its execution, is a powerful statement on how architecture can relate to its site.

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Robert Stone’s unorthodox Acido Dorado defies conventions of desert architecture text by Zach Baliva photos by brad lansill MARCH 2011

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Acido Dorado Design Details Architect: Robert Stone Location: Joshua Tree, CA Completed: 2010 Construction Area: 1350-square-foot interior, 1750-square-foot patio space, 2.5-acres site Featured Materials and Elements: Epoxy-painted concrete, polished stainless steel, vinyl, custom fixtures and furniture, custom wrought-iron fence, custom wood cabinets, glass walls, native landscaping. The entire house is painted in complementary tints of metallic-gold automotive paint. The effect of this is to unify and somewhat negate the color of the house and create a symphony of textures. The viewers’ senses are delighted with the composition of rough concrete, luxury quarterly MARCH 2011 82 glass, smooth andhome intricate metalwork.

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STRUCTURAL SUPPORT Ten thin stainless-steel columns support the roof plane. Some stand up in the middle of the pool, some rise right out of the sandy desert floor, and this one almost magically intersects the fence. Each column is wrapped at midpoint with a gold vinyl pad inspired by motocross crash pads—a surprising combination with the flowers and classic modernist details, but a compelling one in this area where dirt-bikes are as prevalent as the flora and fauna home quarterly 83 ofluxury the desert.


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ith a single look at a Robert Stone-designed house, one can tell the architect isn’t standing firmly in the mainstream. Take Acido Dorado for example. The golden weld-art palace in the Joshua Tree, California, area is almost too hypnotic for words. The very fact that he placed the home in the middle of the Mojave desert is uniquely apropos, as Stone has created a house that captures the stunningly illusive quality of a mirage. “The root difference of my practice is that I am openly searching for meaning, and that has led me to a very different set of issues, terms, and aesthetics,” says Stone, a Palm Springs, California, native whose one-man studio, Robert Stone Design, is a natural offshoot of his art practice. Part of Stone is still planted in the art world, an arena from which he views his current work. “Materials don’t set the value of fine art, couture fashion, or the luxury it conveys,” Stone says. “The ideas do. I’m only going to build a few houses in my life, but I will put everything I have into each, and the only way to make them all count is to give people places they love.” The Mojave became Stone’s canvas for Acido Dorado, but he went beyond simply understanding the desert’s physicality; he brought an interpretation of its culture to the project. “To make architecture that is meaningful, you also have to understand the culture … the rock and roll, the sex and drugs, the politics and the power, the fake and the real,” Stone says. “If you suppress or ignore all of that, you can’t get the deep un-selfconcious beauty or even the true, natural landscape.” A successful desert project, as Stone defines it, is one that draws new connections to its surroundings. According to Stone, mainstream desert architecture simply updates classic minimalism with natural finishes. Even the best homes don’t feel vital or connected to the real desert culture. In Acido Dorado, he looked to create a new architectural experience. Acido Dorado is a 1,350-square-foot vacation house with a style all its own. “Mirage” might be the most accurate word to describe the dreamlike structure, pushing itself out of the sand with stainless-steel columns, long overhangs, glass walls, concrete blocks, a metal fence, and thousands of gold-painted metal roses. Enormous mirrored overhangs, heart-shaped cutouts, and tri-colored acid-hued metals playfully admit and bounce the desert’s light throughout the space. Once inside, the floors, steps, and benches blend into surfaces underneath a massive and uninterrupted ceiling that hangs without visible support beams. “Defying gravity is expensive … but it’s worth it,” Stone says. The house is truly a work of art and a labor of love. Many details—from the gold flowers to the light fixtures and furniture pieces—were custom-made by Stone. “I sometimes laugh at people’s definition of ‘custom,’” he says. “To get what I want, I modify and chop up almost every fixture and material in my work.” The intriguing house has two master suites with ornate showers that open into private atriums planted with garden shrubs. Wi-Fi and surround sound run through the house, ready to entertain guests near the reflecting pool, Jacuzzi, sunken patio, or fire pit.

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Counterclockwise from opposite page top left: The front steps descend into the living room. They have been widened to literally slow down guests upon entry—engaging them physically from the the first step. Where the stairs run perpendicular to the outer wall, they align perfectly with the cut squares directly above them. / The heart shape that appears casually in the screen wall was built from blocks that were custom-cast on site by the architect. The heart is there “because it confounds pop and post-modern irony with it’s connotations of true love and sincerity but stakes out new territory in architecture by interjecting the question of meaning into every other aspect of the house” Stone says. “I want people to ask themselves ‘what does it mean?’” / The tinted glass appears alternately transparent or mirrored depending on the balance of light on either side. This creates dramatic variations as one moves through the house and the perspective changes. / Stone describes the gold mirror-tinted glass windows as adding a “sinister” or “corporate” reference to the design that contrasts (yet also literally reflects) the natural surroundings. The effect gives the building its edgy quality that feels right in Southern California where “nature” is never quite “natural”. The illusionistic space reflected in mirrors was carefully considered throughout the design process, and was given as much importance in the composition as actual space. / The mirrored ceiling is composed of thousands of irregularly set tiles that shimmer, bringing the light and texture of the surrounding desert sand right into the house. This surprising innovation feels like the logical conclusion of modernist architecture’s attempts to bring the outdoors inside, but it took a bold designer to make it work. / The same ornamental steel fences that enclose the patio when the house is closed up slide into alignment (note the block joints and the fence pattern) against the bedroom atrium walls to look like a wall sculpture in their stowed position. The fixture uses the mirrored side table (also built by Stone) as part of its function to spread light and pattern throughout the room. / Though the architect built many of the details of the house, and the metalwork remains one of the most spectacular hand-built details. Geometric patterns of fence bars have flush-welded joints that would be the envy of any minimalist. Around these joints, in carefully composed patterns, are naturalistic metal rose vines that appear to grow in very unnatural compositional patterns. This is another of Stone’s counterintuitive design tricks that seem to make sense in the desert landscape. There are metal butterflies hidden among the fake flora “for the people who are paying attention” Stone says.

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“I sometimes laugh at people’s definition of ‘custom.’ To get what I want, I modify and chop up almost every fixture and material in my work.” Robert Stone

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CUSTOM DETAILS All of the glass wall panels move—even around corners—allowing the space to be opened up entirely to the outdoors. The pool feels as if it is part of the living room because it is wrapped by the same wall that encloses the house and is sheltered by the same long mirrored overhang that covers the living room. The folding sofa is from Room and Board (roomandboard.com), the metal stereo cabinet is a vintage locker, and the mirrored coffee luxury 87 tablehome wasquarterly built by the architect.


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One entire wall of each bedroom is made of moveable glass, and the block walls of the atrium extend into the interior without interruption. The bedrooms feel completely private and protected but at the same time open to nature. The mirrored vanity and sink locks into a gold-painted block structure creating an amplified contrast in materials. The glass mosaic-tile showers open entirely to the outdoors and contain custom teak benches built into the side wall.

tone longs for the day when architecture conversations are approached from an art-critic’s perspective rather than that of a real-estate developer. “You might not have seen a gold house before,” he says. “You might be afraid that it will turn around and bite you and look embarrassing in a few years. But I’m not. The real way to make something valuable is to honestly capture your time and place because then it can be an enduring classic.” Acido Dorado looks like a place Ziggy Stardust might call home, and the theatricality is intentional. “The physicality of minimalist art, the self-consciousness of moving about the space, is the basis of everything that is smart or sexy in my work,” Stone says. His highly charged space evokes an emotional intensity that others struggle to reach. It is a house that—like a work of art—is meant to be experienced and not necessarily understood. In fact, Stone believes that identifying a singular meaning at Acido Dorado is impossible. “All of the parts are constantly being modified by each other, the viewer, and the cultural context,” he says. “There are clearly sources and references for some of the aesthetics, but my goal is to bring those associations to bear on the meaning of the architecture and to have the architecture in turn modify the meaning of those references out in the wider world.” Like all good works of art, Acido Dorado can’t be decoded. The thoughtful desert dwelling begs to be admired, experienced, and remembered.

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MONOCHROMATIC KITCHEN The wall, cabinets, and appliances are all wrapped in tweed-fabric wallcovering, which gives the minimalist installation an unusually inviting surface. The door pulls are sideways-mounted brass finger pulls (alessi.com/en). Stone says the tweed-and-brass minimalism is “a reference to preppy modernism that I felt set off the other details of the house in an interesting way.� The countertops and integral sink are color-matched Corian (dupont.com), and the faucet is polished brass (americanstanluxury home quarterly 89 dard-us.com).


HEARTS ON FIRE The name Rosa Muerta stenciled on the block wall refers to a common Mexican-American motif—a black rose that symbolizes the inextricable nature of love and loss. This dark choice is a play on the way developers in Southern California typically use poetic and meaningless Spanish phrases to market their properties. Acido Dorado can be seen in the distance, just beyond its home quarterly 90 luxury architectural counterpoint.

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BUILDER’S PERSPECTIVE

efore tackling the ambitious Acido Dorado, Robert Stone brought a similar set of design aesthetics to Rosa Muerta, a dark structure with mirrored ceilings also currently making a loud statement from the same isolated spot in the middle of the desert. The designer sat down to discuss this earlier structure and the decisionmaking process that went into it. Once a studio artist and musician, Stone’s rich creative background gives him a keen insight into the motives behind his own work, and it is clear from his comments that certain early themes were later carried into Acido Dorado, including the uniform color scheme and the heart-shape motif.

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flowers: “There is something both sweet and funereal about the fake flowers that have found their way into the houses. I also compose them so that they hover between being organic and geometric—following the fence lines in a careful composition, pinned and lifeless, though still somehow, irrationally, symbolic of life.”

Mirrored ceilings: “This started with a fascination for the materiality of Robert Smithson’s mirror displacements—not the primary conceptual meaning of them but the raw materiality of sand and dirt combined with their refined product, mirrors. With them I discovered an entirely new way to blur indoor and outdoor—one that, once experienced, seems almost inevitable. I am sure I am not the first to think of this, but other architects were likely embarrassed by the connotations of debased sexuality. I think all of the conflicting associations are what make it amazing, and in the end it transcends them all by approaching the sublime—like looking out at the ocean.”

Black Trim: “It isn’t black per se that interests me, but monochrome in general. What monochrome does is cranks up the self-consciousness of the physical body in the space. It also makes the house much more about subtle variations in texture and sheen—glossy pebbled blocks, matte-black stained wood, shiny textured rope, and slick limousine glass. It binds together ideas that are intentionally contradictory into a feast of textures. Black also makes the house all about the colors outside of itself, and at night it disappears and all you see are the stars.”

Green Design:

“I care enough about environmentalism to design Rosa Muerta [as] a house that uses passive solar energy, thermal mass, and prevailing breezes to create a comfortable place year-round that uses no energy at all for heating or cooling—something very few green architects achieve. But that is just background, and architecture has to be a lot more than that. I don’t want rock-and-roll songs to be all about the environment—why should architecture be all about the environment? I want a reason to live, not just a way to not die.”

Rope: “I figured out that if you wrap something around the pipe columns, then it visually breaks the vertical support line that holds the roof up, therefore making it appear to float a little more. I like obvious effects like this that put your eyes and mind at odds with each other. The rope is also used to wrap the wood beams as they pass through the block wall, and that third material between the other two adds an elegant sensuality to these utilitarian materials. Looking back, I think this takes Tom Ford’s 2002 Gucci line and drops it off in the middle of the desert.”

Hearts: “This is another perplexing one. Symbolism and ornament have a very controversial past in modern architecture. Part of this is my way of pissing off the purists—but with sincerity, with a heart. The heart really sets the whole meaning of the place in flux, as it always seems in tension with what is a very serious modernist-abstract composition. Symbols are immaterial by nature, but I custom-cast these shapes out of concrete and threaded bars through them, integrating structure, symbol, and architecture in such a way that they are inextricable and richly material. It also acts as an establishment of a new direction for architecture— not afraid of engaging meaning and connecting to real culture—without that “ironic” silliness that permeated architectural post-modernism. The heart initially reads as perhaps a pop gesture, but its own connotations of love and sincerity bring the next question: “Does he actually mean it?” Yes, I mean it.”

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“Materials don’t set the value of fine art, couture fashion, or the luxury it conveys. The ideas do.” robert stone

Counterclockwise from opposite page top left: The heart motif carried throughout Rosa Muerta sets the meaning of the place in flux because it seems to exist in tension with what is otherwise a very serious modernist-abstract piece of architecture. / Monochrome color may seem reductive at first, but Stone uses it to focus viewers on rich collages of texture that include rough concrete, limousine glass, stained wood, and intricate metalwork. / The patio serves as an outdoor living room with a fire pit, large spa, catering sink, and barbecue. / The bedroom of Rosa Muerta has a black-stained wood ceiling that features nail-less construction. Instead, a few exposed, polished stainless-steel rods pin it all together. The area over the planters is open to the sky, and the rope that wraps the wood beams where they pass through the block wall are left to fray on the ends and move in the breeze. The shower beyond is also open to the sky for showering au naturel. / The proportions and form of the house make it seem almost uninhabitable when seen from the outside. The surprise as you approach the long, low silhouette is that, after the low entry canopy, you step down into an interior space with 10-foothigh ceilings. The natural desert landscape is allowed to grow around the house so that the entire valley feels like it flows right up to and through the structure. This landscaping concept, though subtle in execution, is a powerful statement on how architecture relates to its site.


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BLURRING THE LINES

COLOR CONTRAST Dusty-rose concrete walls contrast the greens of the surrounding indigenous vegetation.

Intimate designs reduce barriers between man and nature at David Hovey’s Sterling Ridge text by zach baliva MARCH 2011

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STERLING RIDGE Award-winning New Zealandborn architect David Hovey designed this 11,758-square-foot contemporary home—which he named Sterling Ridge—on 2.7 acres in the Desert Mountain community in Scottsdale, AZ. The architect used a structural blend of glass and marigold-orange steel beams, his signature materials, in a new and dynamic way to capture the beauty of the Sonoran desert. The use of split-planes floors throughout the home creates drama and provides unusual views in all directions. A towering doubleheight interior provides flowing living spaces—dining, kitchen, and social—that are anchored by a sculptural staircase.

Location: Scottsdale, AZ

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Construction Size: 11,758 sf, 6 bedrooms, 7.5 bathrooms

Engineers: Landa & Associates, Inc. (landaandassociates. com)

Fabricator: Kinetics Systems, Inc. (kinetics.net)

Landscaper: Enchanted Garden (enchantedgardenaz. com) luxuryhomequarterly.com


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he desert can be difficult land to master in many ways. The harsh and rugged region provides both opportunity and temptation. Although many architects give in to the urge to make a big statement, they are often better served by controlled expression and respect for the landscape. David Hovey, selected by Robb Report as one of the world’s foremost architects in 2005, is familiar with the land. He has designed many homes, including his own Sterling Ridge, in the upscale community of Desert Mountain in Scottsdale, Arizona.

The project of almost 12,000 square feet, which was completed in 2003, was started as a way for the Chicago and Arizona architect to experiment in and understand the harsh climate. “A desert home should produce a distinctive architectural solution from other regional locations,” Hovey says. This is be done by addressing harsh terrain and arid climate and adapting a design to fit a year-round indoor and outdoor lifestyle. Rough topography and natural beauty give an architect the unique opportunity to be innovative and challenge design paradigms, which Hovey did with Sterling Ridge. He created a contemporary home that grows out of the desert using earth tones and a mix of cement and glass to create broad views of mountain formations and desert plant life. Hovey’s trademark marigold-orange steel beams frame the exterior and border concrete walls that are monochromatically consistent with the monotonous desert sand. “The colors and materials contrast the greens of desert vegetation for striking effect,” Hovey says. He situated the house close to desert trees to take advantage of their unique structures, which sit juxtaposed to the straight lines of the house. Cacti and other plants are unusually close to the dwelling and can almost be touched from its many decks. “Views through vegetation provide variety and relationship between the house and the land,” Hovey says. Arizona can be a tough place for an architect to practice. “I was motivated to rethink what a house should and could be,” Hovey says. In contrast to many area houses that turn to traditional opaque materials for the exterior, Hovey used glass and steel in a new and dynamic way to fully capture the surrounding beauty. Much of the home’s perimeter was constructed with floor-to-ceiling glass panels, and the motif continues inside where walls are moveable and transparent. The strategy allows light to pass from one side of the house to the other, and the surrounding desert environment is never hidden.

“I was motivated to rethink what a house should and could be.”

A reflecting pool beneath the home’s main wing cools the dry air as part of an extended approach to the main entrance. Next, the path proceeds onto a bridge that continues to the house. “There are still great views from the space, yet it was designed to feel very close and personal,” Hovey says. An adjacent, semi-enclosed courtyard emphasizes a connection to nature before a second pool reveals itself and seems to float above the natural ground. It’s actually an infinity pool that helps to remove the boundary between desert and house. The main house has a towering double-height interior where free-flowing living spaces are anchored by a sculptural staircase. “The zoned spaces are really one great volume defined with art and furniture into social, dining, and kitchen spaces,” Hovey says. The master bedroom, bathroom, and study float on a mezzanine above.

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Master-Bedroom View The master bedroom floats on a mezzanine above the main living spaces and offers panoramic views of the desert and mountains. A thin membrane of floor-to-ceiling glass minimizes the division of the interior and exterior decks, creating a unifying experience.

The Sterling Ridge interior uses split-level floors for dramatic effect. The floating spaces are connected by the staircase and create unusual views in all directions. “The space inside is moving and fluid,” Hovey says. “There are always new views to discover.” A thin membrane of glass minimizes the division of the interior and exterior decks, and similar flooring merges the two worlds further to create a unified experience. “I was able to use the same material to emphasize the importance of connecting to the environment,” Hovey says. Because the house is located in a region of ample sun, Hovey used solar cells to power his creation, and 87 rooftop solar panels now produce 13 kW of energy. They sit between laminated glass and double as shading devices. “They work as a viable component of the house rather than an applied decoration or concealed utility,” Hovey says. Overall, Sterling ridge is an unreserved structure that shows how a desert home can enhance its place in the surrounding environment through central courtyards, striking views, large decks, and sensible design. The orange steel of Hovey’s beams and the creative integration of his solar cells are successful design elements that complement Arizona’s inherent beauty in the most fitting way. With them, Hovey shows how well-placed materials can function without detracting from nature.

WORKING WITH THE LAND Sterling Ridge is also a green home featuring 87 glass solar panels that contribute to the home’s aesthetic and are visible from one of two office areas (top). A second office (bottom) overlooks a courtyard with a water feature and lush desert plants. Cacti and other vegetation are planted unusually close to the house to provide a relationship between the physical structure and the surrounding landscape.

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Hovey’s deep experience in architecture and the passionate study of his craft have brought success in the desert. He founded Optima, Inc. in 1978 as an alternative to a traditional architectural practice. The unique operation allows an extraordinary amount of freedom in which to design these effective homes. His company buys land, designs the buildings, acts as general contractor, and finances each project. “The method reduces red tape and passes efficiency to the customer,” he says. It also allows Hovey to create flawless contemporary desert homes, which have helped make him an industry powerhouse over the last 30 years.

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“The colors and materials contrast the greens of desert vegetation for striking effect. Views through vegetation provide variety and relationship between the house and the land.” David Hovey, Owner

DeSIGNER’S CHALLENGE A desert home should address terrain and climate while adapting to a year-round indoor and outdoor lifestyle, Hovey says. Arid climates and uncommon natural beauty give the architect an opportunity to challenge design paradigms. MARCH 2011

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Landscape architect creates rugged Joshua Tree hideaway by Zach Baliva CAMOUFLAGED At the Joshua Tree Boulder House, the roof is covered with a layer of sod up to 18” thick and is planted with grasses and desert flowers. From above, it’s hard to tell where the roof ends and the desert begins.

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t’s not unusual for a landscape architect, such as W. Garett Carlson, to design a house in the desert, but rarely does anyone get to see it done as well as Carlson does it. Carlson, who has designed projects for Hollywood stars such as Johnny Depp, Jack Nicholson, and Goldie Hawn, was drawn to a site in Joshua Tree, California, and inspired by the chance to build on a blank canvas of breathtaking American desert.

Carlson believes a project is complete only when architecture and landscape designs are truly blended. “Too often, a project is all about architecture, and the landscaping is an afterthought,” he says. “I wanted to go to the desert and design a project focused on the overall site from the very beginning,” he explains. The unique approach drew early attention from natives when Carlson planted over 450 desert trees and 1,000 other shrubs and plants. “Neighbors came from miles around and thought I was opening a nursery,” Carlson says. The move attracted birds, rabbits, and other species. In fact, a raised fence, specifically designed so critters can scurry underneath, surrounds the property. “As soon as I started planting, animals flocked to a watering hole on the property. By blending indoor and outdoor living, having bigger windows and bigger patios, I’m creating a magical element that most people just don’t get,” he says. The entire project was designed to appear as if it emerges naturally from the ground—an illusion enhanced by a huge faux-boulder façade and a green roof featuring native vegetation. The 2.5-acre lot slopes from the back entrance toward the eastern view, and those who pass on the rear side of the property still might not realize that what they see is a house. The rock exterior also improves the building’s energy performance because its surface is set apart from the building, creating vital insulation from the heat of the sun. It also creates a cavity to hide plumbing elements. Additionally, the green roof is tilted up three feet on the opposite side to pick up early sun. Another interesting exterior highlight is the siding made of corrugated steel, which Carlson sprayed with an acid mix to achieve the rust color and then sealed for a natural look.

Carlson again summoned his landscaping expertise for the design of an innovative planted roof. Although live roofs are typically four inches deep, his is 18. “The greater depth holds moisture and allows plant life to thrive even in the desert sun,” he says. Steel beams and other materials make the Boulder House sturdy enough to withstand a 10.0 earthquake.

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“Too often, a project is all about architecture, and the landscaping is an afterthought. I wanted to go to the desert and design a project focused on the overall site from the very beginning.� W. Garett Carlson, Principal

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Natural materials inside blend with the exterior to create one harmonious environment. A polished Douglas fir ceiling reflects light back down to the floor, and glass pocket doors span the 10-foot gap from floor to ceiling and generate a huge open space when retracted. The 1,700-square-foot house took a lot more of Carlson’s time and money than he expected, but he is more than happy with the result. “The house is a perfect jewel,” he says. “It’s unlike everything else in the desert and is truly special.” Like most who dare to build in the desert, Carlson employed many strategies to combat the elements. An angled roof and flared exterior walls fan out to block the wind from blowing across the large rear terrace that looks onto a fire pit on one side and water on the other. An underground drip system supplies desert plants with a modest supply of water. Acacia, olive trees, pine trees, and flowering plants provide a surprising mix of color and privacy cover in the middle of Joshua Tree. “Most desert homes are plunked down and seen for miles around,” Carlson says. “This house is buried in the middle of a lot and surrounded with trees.” The completely private home is not visible from surrounding streets. Desert homes in general require a shifting mindset. Carlson, who often works in Los Angeles, relishes in this change of pace. “There are so many challenges in the desert, and you have to maximize each positive choice to get everything working together,” he says. The designer isn’t leaving Joshua Tree anytime soon. Although he is selling the Boulder House, he is planning to develop seven other properties in the same region. Next up is a three-acre parcel across the street, which will face the mountains. Carlson then wants to try an off-grid underground house powered by wind and solar energy. Each home Carlson designs on the Joshua Tree properties will be something special. Like the Boulder House, each will embrace the desert and be filled with hand-selected custom elements. “They will be one-of-a-kind spaces like nothing you’ve ever seen before,” Carlson says. While the houses will sell to a select few in search of a fabulous hideaway, the most important thing to Carlson is that his experiment worked. He united a man-made structure with the environment in a new yet natural way.

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FROM DIFFERENT ANGLES 1 A wide-angle shot of the Joshua Tree Boulder House shows the unique laser-cut entry gates and the attention to detail in the landscaping around the house. 2 The front door to the house is on the north side where mature olive trees and desert plants welcome visitors. The home’s high-grade corrugatedsteel siding was treated for the desired color, then sealed. Carlson says, “The steel is as integrated into the landscape as the boulders.” 3 The gas-fueled outdoor fire pit, set into the faux boulders sheltering the terrace, warms and entertains on cool desert evenings. 4 Carlson’s intent was to create a peaceful, modern living space where traditional boundaries are dismissed. The living space and outdoor terrace become one when 10-foothigh custom-made Fleetwood glass pocket doors are opened. 5 The expansive windows at the rear of the home keep the porch well lit at night by allowing light to filter from inside the house.

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a historic perspective Swaback Partners has carried on the design philosophies of Frank Lloyd Wright in its desert homes, embracing the concept that a house should be of the site, not on it

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THE CURCI RESIDENCE:

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s an apprentice for Frank Lloyd Wright, Vernon Swaback came to appreciate the value of staying true to his own creative process rather than being swayed by the latest trend.

Today, as the majority owner and founding partner of Swaback Partners PLLC, he still abides by those principles—with dazzling results for both the firm and its clients. “We start with the idea that for any given program and budget, genuine, designcentered exploration and follow-through is the greatest variable for creating value,” Swaback says. “The less we fall prey to imitation and faddish styles, no matter how esteemed they may be at any one time, the greater our contribution to those we are privileged to serve.” Those contributions have been abundant and unique during the Scottsdale, Arizona, firm’s more than 30 years in operation. Swaback founded the company after more than two decades working for the legendary Wright. In partnership with clients, whom Swaback calls “co-creators,” the firm strives to design a truly ideal home for each customer. “The most enjoyable aspect of our work is that we get to explore with people who could retain anyone in the world they choose but [who] decide to work with us—not only because of our past successes but because of what they believe we can do with them,” Swaback says. “One extraordinary client looked through our book, The Custom Home: Dreams, Desire and Design, and then asked if it would disturb us to know that she didn’t see anything she liked. She was perfect for us. This was a woman who had been in and out of hundreds of high-end custom houses, never seeing anything quite right for her family. She didn’t know what she wanted, but she knew what was possible to achieve if only she could find the right architect. Now, she and her family have that one most perfect home for them.” A recent project exemplifies Swaback Partners’ focus on originality. Designed by partner Jon Bernhard, AIA, the Curci residence blends perfectly with its surroundings, based on Wright’s belief that a structure should be “of the site, not on it.” The home boasts optimum passive-solar orientation and has natural daylighting in every room. Uncompromised views show off the home’s mountain setting while its furnishings and finishings display a consistent design statement. The client’s many visits to the site and hands-on participation were an invaluable aid to Bernhard’s creative process. The end result is a sophisticated home that, according to Swaback, “imitates nothing while... belonging to its setting, just as its

backdrop seems to embrace and belong to the design of the home—with both nature and the created work made more beautiful because of the presence of the other.” Swaback’s own home, SkyFire, is another example of the firm’s holistic approach to design. Named for the atmospheric effects of the desert sky, the home is dramatized by large fire pits and their watery reflection. Swaback describes his design as “bold geometric walls of volcanic ash concrete combined with ribbed copper roofs and tensile fabric shade structures as native to the desert as those used by nomadic tribes of the past. The design of the house blurs the distinction between inside and outside space, using both natural ventilation and the thermal lag of concrete floors and walls to minimize the need for mechanical air conditioning.” Use of natural elements is a consistent theme in all of the firm’s projects, and green practices have been the foundation for Swaback’s work since his days with Wright. “What we call smart, green, and sustainable shouldn’t be a specialty—what they signify should be the norm,” he says. “Tribal communities, farms, ranches, and a host of small villages around the world were smart, green, and sustainable. Frank Lloyd Wright’s Taliesin in Wisconsin and Taliesin West in Arizona, which were my homes for 21 years, epitomized low water use, energy savings, localized food production, and the elimination of the costly back-and-forth commute from home to work. True sustainability can obviously profit by advances in technology, but it will largely remain a matter of intelligent human behavior. Hard-core scientists are beginning to observe that ‘beauty,’ properly understood, is one of the surest indications that we are designing in league with nature—not beauty as faddish, stylistic mannerisms but beauty as high-performance design, which is epitomized in the workings of nature.” Swaback and Bernhard, along with founding partner John Sather, design partners Michael Wetzel and Jeffrey Denzak, and a total staff of around 40, benefit from a commitment to a shared philosophy. The firm’s goals for the next few years are lofty as they seek to extend what design can do throughout the built environment. Toward that end, they’ve established the Two Worlds Community Foundation, a non-profit organization focused on smart, green, and sustainable development. “It’s in its infancy, but its mission is clearly focused on what we see as the logical, if not essential, next step for extending the reach of design,” Swaback says. With the talent, vision, and extraordinary drive of this team, no one should bet against them.

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The dining gallery epitomizes the strong geometry of the home and the organic placement of the home into the side of the mountain. The floor-to-ceiling glass wall offers a connection to the enormous boulders that make up the mountainside. Channels of water cascade around the contours of the boulders and landscaping, settling at a reflecting pond. The wood and granite pattern in the floor, the ceiling lines, and the windows follow the radius pattern experienced throughout the home.

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An intimate seating area positioned on one end of the home offers panoramic views ranging from an immediate native mountainside to extraordinary vistas. Floor-to-ceiling windows and doors, as well as continuous indoor-outdoor rooflines, extend the living space to a wrap-around terrace. An indoor copper fireplace with a glass back opens to the exterior and a built-in outdoor granite platform with an integrated fire pit extends and enhances the experience of the space.

THE skyfire HOUSE:

c Both the name SkyFire and the overall character of the home’s design are rooted in the contradictory impulses experienced by all desert peoples—the need to be sheltered from the scorching heat of the sun and the urge to celebrate life under a wide open sky. d Everything about the SkyFire guest pavilion echoes the character of the main home, including its slanted rooftops and close relationship with the surrounding vegetation. e

Clerestory windows (for daylighting) and indirect lighting (for the evening) are positioned to bathe the openspace interiors in shifting patterns of illumination. Varied ceiling treatments are used to differentiate the sleeping and living areas—only the bathrooms are treated as completely separate spaces. While almost identical in the plans, slight physical adjustments make these two guesthouses feel like different places. The three-dimensional mural to the left, titled “Desert Geology,” is the work of the architect.

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THE PLANS

Photo: Paul Bardagjy Photography

A showcase of sleek, modern architecture —and the blueprints that started it all

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CHIMNEY CORNERS RESIDENCE

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FLOWING SPACES The main design strategy for the Chimney Corners Residence, a stunning home by Webber + Studio, was to eliminate barriers and blend spaces together more seamlessly to create a fluid spacial effect.

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the plans

Webber + Studio FUSING MINIMALISM WITH LOCAL FLAIR TO CREATE UNIQUE, MODERN HOMES by Laura Judy

Since then, Webber + Studio has grown into a popular, highly respected architecture firm in Texas. Although most of the company’s projects are in the Austin area, the company also takes on occasional projects in other parts of the country including Seattle, Los Angeles, and Park City, Utah. “Most of our projects outside of Texas are vacation

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homes or second homes,” Webber says. Webber + Studio takes on a variety of projects, from a 15,000-square-foot penthouse to a simple kitchen remodel. Although the architects do take on some commercial work, the company’s main focus is on private, high-end residential projects.

The clients were happy with the location, size, and general layout of their house but wanted to update and improve it from its 1980s builder-home pedigree. With generic interior rooms and an unused fireplace blocking views to an under-loved backyard, the main design strategy was to eliminate barriers and blend spaces together more seamlessly. This was done using frameless butt-glazed window walls and extended knifeedge eaves that draw out over the home’s window heads.

With the economy down, business has been more difficult than usual, but having a variety of ongoing projects keeps the company successful. “We’re doing about eight to 12 projects a year right now,” Webber says. Taking on a wide range of work is definitely not unusual for Webber. “I go out of my way to find different kinds of work,” he says. “I love the creativity of the projects and the problemsolving involved in each one.”

Photos: Paul Bardagjy Photography

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avid Webber, owner of Webber + Studio in Austin, Texas, has always been interested in architecture. “I’ve wanted to be an architect since I was a little boy,” he says. After working for several architects over the years, Webber suddenly had the opportunity to start a business of his own. “I was actually very happy working for others, but when this opportunity fell into my lap, I just couldn’t pass it up,” he says. In 1997, Webber started his architecture firm with a partner; then, about nine years ago, he bought out his partner and renamed the company Webber + Studio.

The Chimney Corners Residence

Webber’s passion for the business has helped establish the company’s unique style. “Our projects tend to incorporate four different trends, which gives us some cool, funky results,” Webber says. The trends that Webber + Studio applies in each

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the plans

LESS IS MORE The original area was edited into a simpler form, and the palette was reduced to bold, regional materials.

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the plans

AN OVERARCHING ROOF One 8,000-square-foot roof connects all three sections of the home: the main house, the garage, and the guest suite. It also covers the pool and the terraces, which allows the homeowner to make use of the outdoor areas at all times of the day. The roof is covered with solar panels to help power the home and heat the pool, and a 30,000-gallon rainwater-collection system holds water for the home and pool.

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Entry Casual Dining Living Dining Kitchen Her Reading Room His Reading Room Master Bedroom Master Closet Library, TV Room Garage Guest Kitchen Guest Dining Guest Living Guest Bedroom Guest Study Guest Bath Pool Master Bath

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Photos: Jacob Termansen

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the plans

A COZY CAVE An internal library and TV room provide a singular, central dark room as a foil to the immense amount of light throughout the rest of the home.

FLEXIBLE FUNCTIONALITY In spite of being avid collectors of design artifacts, these owners did not want to devote too much fixed display space to their collection. Instead, the interior offers predominantly open plans which allow for large amounts of flexibility.

The Villa Nuevo Residence For this project in Austin, TX, the client was looking to downsize to a low-maintenance, one-story home that captured a particular style. “This house has a mid-century modern aesthetic, and it’s also very Texas,” Webber says. To accommodate the downsizing this couple sought, the architect broke the house into two structures: a main house consisting of a one-bedroom suite, study, reading room, library, and a main room; and a guest house with three bedrooms, two baths, and its own main space including a kitchenette. In order to simplify the maintenance for the seasoned owners, the exterior consists of highly durable CMU, prefinished metal siding, and aluminum windows. Blessed with a great northwest view, the house was oriented along the azimuth of the afternoon summer solstice in order to eliminate the hot afternoon sun. The main spaces in the home, including the living, dining, kitchen, study, and reading areas, open up to distant, layered views of the lake.

TAKE A LOOK This view out of the dining area looks back to the guesthouse across the lap pool.

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LAP OF LUXURY Because of the owners’ love of water, a lap pool occupies the courtyard between the two houses. Designed to capture sun throughout most of the middle part of any day, the courtyard is open to the south and contains an oculus allowing sun to strike the pool. The oculus creates beautifully framed sky views while swimming.

“The key ingredient in every project is to pay attention to the client; sit down and really listen, not only to what they tell you but also to what you think they really want.” David Webber, Owner

BUILDING

T 512.328.9393 F 512.328.9966 5450 BEE CAVES RD, 3E AUSTIN TX 78746 112

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Over the years, the company has become more focused in both its style and its projects. “It’s easy to want to do everything, but we’ve learned to focus on the things we like the very best,” Webber says. “We’ve really fine-tuned our energy.” This focus helps the company to deliver the best service possible to its clients. “The key ingredient in every project is to pay attention to the client; sit down and really listen, not only to what they

tell you but also to what you think they really want,” Webber says. As the company moves forward, Webber hopes to continue gaining more and more business, but only to a certain point. “We want to grow only if we can maintain good quality work and close client relationships,” Webber says. Webber + Studio’s excellent reputation is built on its high-quality work and hands-on service. “I’m very ambitious and always want to take on more and larger projects, but I don’t want to move away from what I love,” Webber says. “Designing is my favorite part of the business. The architecture part is easy; the tricky part is figuring out what the problems are and solving them on paper. I’m always happy when I can just sit down and draw.”

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Photo: Jacob Termansen

beyond

project are regionalism, minimalism, functionalism, and expressionism. “We like to incorporate local materials and themes along with spare details, and we like each element to reflect the function it accomplishes,” Webber says. “Although it is very modern, it doesn’t fall under the strict modern style. Our style is very diverse.”


the plans

shugart bates Inspiring the Connection between Craft and Human Experience by Dan Casciato

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illiam Charles “Charlie” Shugart has always believed that for a project to be meaningful in a client’s eyes, it has to go beyond simply looking good—it has to meet his or her needs. As architects and designers, no one is better at understanding what those needs are than the firm that bears his name, Shugart Bates.

“One of the most important skills an architect must possess in assessing the needs of the client is that of being a good listener,” says Charlie, principal architect for the firm. “You must hear what the

client is trying to say. We’re always excited when a client comes back to us for another project. It tells us we did a good job of listening the first time.” Founded in Seattle in the fall of 1992 as Tecnikos Design Collaborative, the firm has grown gradually over the years. Built on the principle that good design can happen at any scale regardless of budget, this same philosophy continues today. Shugart Bates works on projects from small intimate interiors to large multistory buildings. Shannon Shugart joined the practice in 1994 as the lead interior designer. Jeff Bates came on board in 2005, cementing a 30-year friendship with Charlie that

The Harvey Residence Situated in the foothills of the Cascade Mountains 30 miles outside Seattle, the 3,200-square-foot home draws a relationship between the site and the view to perform metaphorically within its surroundings. It literally is a “house of mountains,” and contains three linked structures. The main structure contains a great room consisting of living, dining, kitchen, powder, and entry areas on the main level and two children’s bedrooms and a bathroom on the upper floor. The second structure contains a master suite and artist’s loft. The third contains a guest suite. Shugart Bates characterizes the design style as “a modern Northwest vernacular.”

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Photos: PAUL FINKEL

DESIGN BY REQUEST The Harvey Home represents the ultimate collaboration between the convictions of the client and the creativity of design. The client had some very specific and uncommon requests for their home, including “the uncommon use of common materials,” “splendor of the ordinary,” and “ a surprise around every corner.” Large, view-oriented windows help to blur the boundary between urbanhome loft-like interior MARCH 2011 quarterly 114 theluxury and the outdoors.

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the plans

HARMONIOUS MATERIALS The dynamic roof forms became one of the project’s most exciting, complicated, and successful features. The striking shape speaks to the surrounding mountainous terrain, while the use of natural materials harmonizes with the site.

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the plans

The Riviera Place Residence Located on the shores of Lake Washington in Seattle, this home draws upon the relationship between indoor and outdoor space to create a family-friendly home in which the boundary between the two realms is blurred. Clearly modern in style, the house makes use of stone, wood, glass, and steel in a warm, inviting way. Based upon simplicity in form, the home offers both private living space and communal areas with views oriented toward the stunning lake views. The client wanted modern, contemporary spaces and simple, clean finishes. The wave-like roofline is low profile so that the home appears to nestle into the hill behind the property and offers a smooth transition down to the lake below.

READY TO RIDE Catering to the homeowner’s passion for working on vintage cars, the home features ample space to showcase the collection.

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the plans

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DOUBLE DUTY The house is broken into two free-standing structures paralleling the lake connected by a communal exterior cooking-anddining area. The main structure contains a 2,700-square-foot residence and garage. It has three bedrooms, three bathrooms, and a bonus home office. The second structure contains an 800-square-foot guest house and a three-car garage.

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As principals, we stay intimately involved on a project from start to finish. This continuity ensures that projects move smoothly through the design and construction process. William Charles Shugart, Principal Architect

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dates back to graduate school at Columbia, and the firm was rebranded as Shugart Bates. One of the firm’s first completed projects was a single-family residence back in 1993. It was the recipient of an AIA Award of Merit and was nominated for that year’s “Home of the Year” program, sponsored by AIA Seattle. Shugart Bates has since had several additional residences recognized over the years by AIA Seattle’s “Home of the Year” program. Some of its other notable projects include the Harvey Residence, Madison Park Residence, Lake Washington Boulevard Residence, and the Riviera Place Residence. For Charlie and his team, a critical aspect of these and any project’s success is making sure there is proper alignment between the client and architect. “Our goal is to put the client’s best interest first,” he says. “When we feel we are not a good fit for the project, we try to refer the client on to another firm that might fit their needs better.”

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Two significant qualities clearly set the firm apart from others. First, as an integrated practice, it blends both architecture and interior design seamlessly. “We approach every project holistically, linking all aspects of a design together in a singular strong idea or direction,” Charlie says. “A project is only as good as the sum of the parts, and in our mind one discipline of a project can be no more important than another.”

Secondly, it’s a principal-driven company, meaning that every project it takes on will have strong leadership from one of the three principals. “As principals, we stay intimately involved on a project from start to finish,” Charlie says. “This continuity ensures that projects move smoothly through the design and construction process.” Based upon the diversity of work experience among its principals, Shugart Bates has been able to take on projects at all scales—designing projects from small jewel-like interiors (such as a display case it recently designed for a client’s three Nobel Prizes) to large multistory buildings and city master planning. Each is linked to the other by the thoughtfulness of the design process and the attention to detail. Looking ahead, Charlie is optimistic about his firm’s future. Although the economy is a challenge for everyone these days, Charlie says that the firm has been blessed with a number of repeat clients. “Given the new realities of the economy, clients are far more focused on the bottom-line economics of the project than at any point in the past,” he says. “They’re still looking for exceptionally welldesigned homes, but clients are now looking for more space-conscious projects that do more with less. The end results are slightly smaller homes with multifunctional spaces that allow more living in less area, thereby reducing construction costs without giving up the level of finish or livability.”

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architects

Providing concepts and programs for deluxe homes

Tomaro Design Group ELEGANT SPACES WITH A FLAIR FOR ENTERTAINING

Photo: Eric Figge

by Laura Judy When it comes to designing elegant beachfront homes, Tomaro Design Group is at the top of the industry. Based in Manhattan Beach, California, the firm has been in business since 1991, and senior partner and principal architect Louie Tomaro knows what it takes to stay on top. “I helped my dad out with a lot of building projects when I was younger, so I basically grew up in the industry,” Tomaro says. Over the past 20 years, Tomaro Design Group has grown to include 15 employees, and together they design around 25-30 projects each year. Currently, the company takes on a combination of residential and commercial work. “We do schools, restaurants, and medical buildings

among other things, and currently we’re building our own office to move into,” Tomaro says. However, the majority of Tomaro Design Group’s work is in high-end residential homes. “Probably about 60 to 70 percent of our business is in single-family custom homes,” Tomaro says. In addition to all the projects they design, the firm also provides design/build services for about four to six projects each year. Their other projects are usually built by a select group of contractors with whom the company has formed relationships over the years. Creating eco-friendly designs is extremely important to Tomaro Design Group. “We now have five

party house Showcasing Tomaro Design Group’s skills in creating entertainment spaces, this home’s outdoor living area is accessed by custom lift-and-slide French doors, which open as wide as 16 feet. The large, kidney-shaped pool and Jacuzzi feature a diving deck and slide that house a shower and changing room beneath.

LEED-certified staffers, and our new office will have LEED Gold certification,” Tomaro says. Currently, the company is working on three homes that will be awarded LEED certification. “We try to incorporate green elements into every project we do, even if it’s not going to be LEED-certified,” Tomaro says. “We try to make each design as sustainable as possible for its location.” Although roughly 50 to 60 percent of the company’s work is in the South Bay, California, area, they have done work all over the state as well as in Idaho,

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Sunset Paving and Masonry

Skill without imagination is craftsmanship, but skill with imagination is art. Building dreams one stone at a time.

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Hacienda Stone and Tile One of Tomaro Design Group’s most recently completed projects is a fourstory beachfront home along Hermosa Beach, CA’s The Strand, a famous paved beachside walkway. “This home has a warm, tropical feel with lots of wooden elements, and it’s definitely designed for entertaining,” Tomaro says. The main elements of the home include: We are committed to enhancing your masonry projects.You design it, we create it. Customizing and creating your tile needs Any stone in any format. We solve the “that’s not available in the size/shape you designed problem”. All of our stones are available in a wide variety of forms, finishes and treatments to meet every design need. Products we offer: Stone tile, ceramic tile, natural stone veneers, stone and concrete pavers, glass mosaic, stone mosaic, flagstone, custom water jet medallions, carved stone, hand painted tile, custom hand laid mosaics, and more products for your project design needs. 1522 Pacific Coast Highway Harbor City, CA 90710 p: 310.344.6755

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Texas, Arizona, and even Italy and Costa Rica. “All of our work comes from referrals, and we get a fair amount of repeat business from clients wanting second homes,” Tomaro says. Tomaro Design Group designs and builds a variety of homes, ranging in size from 1,800 square feet to more than 16,000 square feet. “A typical project is probably about 4,000 square feet and has a construction budget of $250-350 per square foot,” Tomaro says. When it comes to style, the company is open to even more variety. “We don’t have one particular style that we work on, but right now we’ve been doing a lot of soft contemporary designs with Balinese influences,” Tomaro says. “These designs incorporate a lot of outdoor areas as well as a smooth flow throughout the home. We also work on a variety of styles such as Mediterranean, Cape Cod, Spanish Colonial, and more.” One of the company’s most recent projects, in Manhattan Beach, California, was designed with a Tuscan Mediterranean style. “It’s very open and bright,” Tomaro says. “The homeowners were actually previous clients whose family is growing, and they wanted a bigger home with a resort-like backyard for their three young kids.” The home has a number of loggias and outdoor covered areas that open to the pool and outdoor spaces. Telescoping

Photos: Cameron Carothers

The Home On The Strand


WooDWORK An open square stairwell connects all four levels of the 8,700-square-foot Hermosa Beach, CA, home.

doors allow the inside of the home to flow into the outside seamlessly. “The entire lower level is the entertainment level, and the top floor has a view and family room where the family can gather in the evenings to enjoy the view of the ocean and the sunset,” Tomaro says. Overall, the experts at Tomaro Design Group really try to listen to their clients’ wishes and work them into a cohesive, well-designed building. “Whatever it is, we try to be as true to that style as we can,” Tomaro says. “We always try to maximize the design with regards to the specific lot—as well as light,

space, and privacy concerns.” Also, no matter what the design, there are certain elements that Tomaro Design Group tries to include in every project. “We are known for well-organized designs that are open, welcoming, and bright,” Tomaro says. Although the company does not want to become too large and corporate, they are looking forward to some growth in the coming years. “Our goal is a controlled growth,” Tomaro says. “The most important thing to us is the joy and satisfaction of our clients. As long as our clients are happy, we’re happy.”

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ARCHITECTs

Harris Architects PLLC BLENDING HISTORIC CHARM WITH MODERN FUNCTIONALITY

COTTAGE CONCEPTS Suiting the rustic nature of the Lake Toxaway, NC, summer cottage, this kitchen has distressed, furniture-style cabinets and antique, hand-hewn timber beams spanning the ceiling.

by Kaleena Thompson Nestled among forested mountains and lakes, the homes designed by the husband-and-wife team of Brevard, North Carolina-based Harris Architects PLLC offer a reflection of the projects’ surroundings—and a nod to the past. “The houses we design have a sense of history that fits snugly in the mountainous landscape,” says partner Doug Harris. His wife, Ellen Pratt Harris, started the firm in 1998 when they moved from Washington, DC, to North Carolina. “It started out as a one-person consulting firm then blossomed as I acquired more projects,” Pratt Harris says. With increased work, the firm grew, and she hired Harris as her business partner. “It was a 15-year-long job interview,” Pratt Harris says. Together, the architects have parlayed their experiences into a full-service design firm specializing in new construction and historic pres-

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ervation with many of the homes being on mountainside sites. Based on the formula “people + place + process = product,” Harris Architects approaches each project with new inspiration. “We value not only the people but their extended family, the neighborhood, and the site,” Pratt Harris says. “You also get an appreciation for the impact that the site has on the architecture amid the mountains.” One of the firm’s most recent projects is a summer cottage for a couple that wanted a rustic but timeless place. Situated on Lake Toxaway in North Carolina, the house’s interior blends with the lake thanks to flexible windows and terraces that lead to the lake’s edge. The firm used poplar-bark siding, timber detailing, and stone to satisfy the couple’s

cravings for a historic, informal feel. “We scaled the interior functional areas and screened porch to flow together, which creates a comfortable open space for friends and family,” Pratt Harris says. Customdesigned newel posts accented with acorn finials complement the stairway and entryway. The public areas, den, office, and master suite occupy the main level while the upper level holds two bedrooms, a sitting room, and a bunkroom. Clad in historical elements, the house’s inside frame consists of antique hand-hewn timber trusses, antique heart-pine doors and paneling, wood cabinets, and stone. “The couple, who also have a house in Florida, stop by the office every now and then just to tell us how much they are enjoying the house,” Pratt Harris says. Meeting the clients’ needs gives the architects a real sense of accomplishment. “We

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Holbrook Nichols

CONSTRUCTION STONEY HOME Continuing the luxurious-yet-rustic theme, the summer cottage’s light-filled master bath incorporates stone counters, distressed cabinets, a freestanding tub, and a stone-tiled shower.

“The houses we design have a sense of history that fits snugly in the mountainous landscape.” Doug Harris, Partner

are lucky to work with a group of talented, qualified, and dedicated contractors, sub-contractors, suppliers, and craftsman, without whom the ideas we come up with would never happen. And in turn, our clients gratify us with more projects.” For example, a Mill Creek Chase house, also at Lake Toxaway, is the firm’s second project for the same client. The 4,800-square-foot estate overlooks the golf course and towering mountain ranges. Peaked roofs, shed dormers, and stone and shingled walls frame the sprawling home. The interior blends contemporary openness with traditional detailing but maintains its rustic theme with antique timber flooring. “A lot of our work has an historic mountain character to it,” Pratt Harris says. “We understand how houses and buildings were historically

built, which is our inspiration in preserving those roots.” She recalls her award-winning Fort Hill house at Clemson University, which was the plantation home of John C. Calhoun. The original bones were stripped down and restored with historic finishes and wallpapers including original patterns found at Fort Hill. Whether it’s a house nestled in the mountainous landscape or a renewed historic landmark, Pratt Harris believes preservation––history, character, and materials––is the ultimate recycle. “A wellbuilt, detailed, and well-sited house will last 100 years or more,” Pratt Harris says. “And even though design aesthetics have become modernized, people still revert to a century-old character, incorporating historic detailing and simple luxury.”

Building homes of distinction Since 1972 Each Holbrook & Nichols home is hand-crafted using the highest quality materials from the finest suppliers in the industry, as well as employing the premier tradesmen, wood crafters and mechanical subcontractor in the entire Western North Carolina region. Call us today to see how we can make your Dream Home come true. Proud to partner with Harris Architects.

P.O. Box 89, Hwy. 281 N Lake Toxaway, NC 28747 Tel: 828. 966 .4400 Fax: 828. 966. 9696

www.holbrook-nichols.com MARCH 2011

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ARCHITECTs

CREOLE CREATION Shapiro & Company’s Creole House was built by North Alabama-based Mike Mitchell, who ensured that all Creole details were meticulously maintained.

firm’s principals. “Since each and every client is unique, my designs are not bound by any one style and, thus, have a range of solutions as crafted by the client’s vision and the site’s characteristics.” Shapiro’s inspiration to become an architect began in 1975 when he was a junior high student in Dallas, Texas. His fascination with architecture, particularly residential architecture, ultimately led Shapiro to the University of Arkansas, where he studied the subject. Following graduation, Shapiro moved to Memphis, Tennessee, where he began his career in a firm that grew from a small upstart to a nationally recognized name. After 14 years, he found that the direction of the firm, as well as his responsibilities, were not in line with his personal goals of becoming a hands-on architect, so he launched Shapiro & Company in 1999. Driven by word of mouth from satisfied clients, Shapiro & Company specializes in residential architecture, which encompasses custom residential—as well as multi- and single-family residential—designs for traditional neighborhood developments. The firm has successfully worked on projects from Colorado to Pennsylvania and from Illinois to Florida. One of the firm’s most notable projects is a Creole-inspired home on Lake Wilson in Alabama, which was inspired by the client’s fond memories of her family’s history in Louisiana, her love of French Colonial architecture, and her desire to capture the beauty and casual lifestyle of Lake Wilson.

Shapiro & Company Architects Inc. SPECTACULAR STYLE WITH DESIGN DIVERSITY by Julie Edwards From an English manor-style home in Tennessee to an equestrian farmhouse in Mississippi, Shapiro & Company Architects’ projects span a wide range of styles and states and highlight the firm’s focus on design diversity.

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“My architectural philosophy starts from the premise that, at the end of the design and building process, my clients must immediately recognize their home as a true reflection of their personality and dreams,” says Brad Shapiro, AIA, one of the

“During my first visit with the client to the site, and being familiar with French Colonial architecture, I sketched a three-part structure in a Ushape,” Shapiro says. “On the inside of the U-shape, a courtyard was formed which became one of the essential elements.” This initial concept sketch became the framework for all the design that followed. Upon arrival at the residence, every guest passes through the courtyard, which features a fountain and reclaimed materials from Louisiana. This experience sets the tone, and as visitors actually enter the home, the views of the lake take their breath away; the spacial arrangement as one deep room allows every area to have views of both the courtyard and lake. “I thrive on the knowledge that my clients absolutely love their homes and that my designs will take a significant role in the memories of the families that live in the homes we design,” Shapiro says.

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Top Design Elements of the Creole House 1. Handmade bricks from a warehouse in New Orleans that was demolished after Hurricane Katrina provide an authentic French Colonial aesthetic; 2. Reclaimed pine beams from a warehouse in upstate New York also accent the French Colonial style; 3. Gas lanterns from Bevolo Gas Lights (bevolo.com) enhance the feel of the French Quarter; 4. A cast-iron fountain by Robinson Iron (robinsoniron.com) is the focal point of the quintessential courtyard; 5. A  ntique reclaimed cypress wood was used for the main entrances and interior doors. Cypress is a prominent wood species in Louisiana and, therefore, an appropriate choice for this home.

“This passion for making our designs unique to each client is one aspect that sets our firm apart.” Another notable firm project, which was recently completed, is a European Country residence in LaPorte, Indiana—an exquisite estate with an early 19th-century feel. The client had been a guest at another Indianapolis-based estate designed by Shapiro and “fell in love with the charm and character of the house,” Shapiro says. “The client was in the process of interviewing architects and wanted to know if I would be interested in discussing his project. He told me he dreamed of an elegant, charming home that felt as if it were 200 years old. ” A dream five years in the making, the completed estate features numerous elements that are reminiscent of old European estates, including barrelvaulted entrances, a dining hall, grand salons with massive fireplace alcoves, and a library with warm chestnut beamed ceilings and paneling. Designed for family gatherings, the kitchen circles a massive island of marble that’s centered under a barrelvaulted ceiling accented by an over-scaled window. “One of the joys of working with individuals on their home is that each and every new project is truly an exciting experience,” Shapiro says. “Even though I have more than 24 years of experience, every day I open the door to my office, I never know what exactly to expect, and to me that is particularly exciting and refreshing.”

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ARCHITECTs

PRAIRIE-STYLE MEETS ARTS & CRAFTS For this Wilmette, IL, home, Morgante Wilson Architects combined the spaciousness of Prairie style with the refined finishes of the Arts & Crafts style to create a contemporary classic. Generous stone massings ground the light-wood exterior (above) and contribute to the ongoing indoor-outdoor dialogue that enlivens the home. Inside, the foyer (right) is delineated with birch, maple, oak, and cherry structural elements, flooring, paneling, detailing, and accents. From the foyer, you can see the living room, dining room, main hallway, and curving grand staircase. The artful use of wood joins these spaces into a unified whole despite the separate functions they serve.

Morgante Wilson Architects

Top Architectural Elements of the Wilmette Home 1. Siding: The horizontal cedar siding with a natural-looking stain pays homage to the mature trees on-site;

Thoughtful architecture and innovative design by Julie Edwards Located in Evanston, Illinois, Morgante Wilson Architects was founded in 1994 when Morgante joined the practice previously established by Fred Wilson in 1987. Under Wilson’s direction, the firm won numerous prestigious awards including the American Institute of Architect’s (AIA) Chicago Chapter Interiors Award. In joining the firm, Morgante introduced interior- and furniture-design competencies and helped further the company’s notable achievements, including being named one of Chicago Magazine’s Top 25 architecture firms. Offering architecture and interior design services primarily for the high-end residential market, Morgante Wilson will work anywhere in the country and has designed primary and secondary residences in Utah, Colorado, New York and Washington D.C., among other places. However, many of the firm’s

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projects are located in the city of Chicago, predominantly within the North Shore area. Now in its third decade, the firm’s commitment to its community, its profession, civic improvement, and academic endeavors is unwavering. “We believe in being a thoughtful architectural practice where innovative design and client needs meet,” Morgante says. “Our residential and commercial work expresses client wishes while reflecting architecture’s vast possibilities. “Trust is the best building foundation, and the firm’s hallmark is clients who are actively involved in the creative process,” she says. “Morgante Wilson, with a network of trusted partners, is committed to interpreting faithfully each client’s functional prerequisites and stylistic dreams, from initial client meeting through ribbon cutting.”

2. Railing: The curved stair railing— thoughtfully designed with a combination of cherry wood, maple wood, and copper pipe—provides additional warmth via color and texture in the home’s interior; 3. Indiana limestone: A massive stone wall on the exterior of the house contrasts with the cedar siding and acts as a pier, which grounds the home to the site. Additionally, the combination of wood and stone throughout the house reflects the natural setting; 4. Windows: Abundant windows create a visual connection between the interior and exterior spaces; 5. Kitchen cabinetry: Custom cherry cabinets were designed to continue the home’s theme of natural materials in a light and airy setting.

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ARCHITECTs

“Our firm’s projects are a direct result of a process that engages our clients in an energetic, ongoing exchange of ideas.”

LENGTHY LUMBER Bruce Roadcap Architecture designed this addition to a modest single-story bungalow in the historic Woodland Heights community in Houston, TX.

Elissa Morgante, AIA Wilson says that the firm specializes in crafting inspiring homes and views its role as that of an interpreter of its client’s unique preferences. One of the firm’s inspired residential projects is the Wilmette Residence, a new home constructed in an established suburb north of Chicago that combines natural elements of wood, stone, and light in a modern, urban setting. “Generous and well-detailed use of wood flooring, ceiling panels, mouldings, railings, and window frames contributed to the commanding presence the owners wanted for this project,” Morgante says. “The extensive interior and exterior wood detailing also enhanced the owner’s desire to relate with the mature trees and landscaping on the lot and in the neighborhood.” Morgante says the owner’s deference to a contemporary Craftsman style allowed for the creation of expansive living areas. “As with many Craftsmanstyle homes built at the turn of the century, this contemporary home uses the inherent properties of wood to promote a natural feeling in an interior environment,” she says. “The combination of wood and stone throughout the house recalls natural settings and carries occupants away from the urban environment.” From the front entrance, the home is an explosion of birch, maple, oak, and cherry structural elements: flooring, paneling, detailing, and accents. The artful use of wood joins the living spaces into a unified whole despite the separate functions they serve. Standout features include a three-story curved staircase in the rectilinear foyer, and a two-story window wall in the sitting room, which almost eliminates the separation between indoor and outdoor spaces. Looking to the future, Morgante Wilson is further strengthening its green-building knowledge to incorporate new green creative technologies to its designs. In fact, the firm is working on completing the first Gold LEED-certified residence in Glenview, Illinois. “We’ve expanded our knowledge to offer ecologically friendly building options and high-quality, cost-effective, and energy-efficient choices for client consideration,” Wilson says. “A central conviction within the practice is that architecture should not merely reflect nature but work in harmony with it.”

Bruce Roadcap Architecture A raw and honest approach to design exposes hidden treasures by Tricia Despres With over 25 years of experience, Bruce Roadcap, founder of Houston-based Bruce Roadcap Architecture, has worked on a number of large residential and industrial projects and has been recognized nationally as an award-winning architect.Yet despite all of his bigger accomplishments,

it’s often the little pieces of each individual project that continue to inspire him. “I remember a project where there was a little tree that I became a staunch supporter of,” Roadcap says. “It’s often these little, single elements that I

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Texas Mirrors & More has serviced our Greater Houston area for over 20 years. Working closely with architects, designers, builders and homeowners we provide the finest quality of products to many well-known Houstonians. Texas Mirrors & More is recognized for our fabrication and installation of heavy glass shower enclosures, patterned mirrors, obscured glass, stack systems, desktops, tabletops as well as other distinctive glasswork. Texas Mirrors & More services all areas of Texas.

I’m always interested in using the existing elements that can be found there, just by pulling the sheetrock back and exposing them.” Bruce Roadcap, FOUNDER

attach myself to in terms of the overall design. In this particular case, we ended up extending the addition we were working on and ultimately using that small tree as a catalyst for the overall design of the project.” The little tree was just a part of the addition/ renovation project Roadcap took on back in 2006 in Houston’s Woodland Heights area. Filled with 1920s and 1930s bungalows, the residential neighborhood is home to a number of families of all sizes with all different needs.

2314 Blalock Rd. Houston, Texas 77080 Phone: 713-463-6767 Fax: 713-463-6887 Contact us at: randy@texasmirrors.com kathy@texasmirrros.com 128

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“The owners were a young couple redoing their own house, and I was pleasantly surprised when I first walked in and noticed that it wasn’t butchered up like other bungalows I often find,” Roadcap says. “They needed additional space but also wanted to open up their existing space. They focused on a nice big master bathroom and kitchen, which is where all the money usually goes—and then tends to drive the overall design of the rest of the home.”

The modest single-story bungalow features an exterior deck and new living spaces with large sliding-glass panels, structural wood beams, and original elements such as the masonry chimney and shiplap ceiling in the kitchen that Roadcap treasures and uses in many of his projects. “These homes often have these old masonry chimneys near the center of the house,” Roadcap says. “I’m always interested in using the existing elements that can be found there, just by pulling the sheetrock back and exposing them. Plus these are features that you don’t have to pay extra for. It’s all about finding things in their natural raw state.” Coming from an artistic family, Roadcap focused his schooling toward art and technology, and even considered going into engineering for a while. Eventually, Roadcap headed to Houston and began working in industrial architecture.“I was working on big, industrial projects at the time, and it was definitely a different direction for me,” says Roadcap, who now focuses primar-

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The Toolbox Winning two AIA awards, the Toolbox is one of Bruce Roadcap’s signature projects. For the project, Roadcap was challenged to replace a single-car garage in the backyard of a Houston Heights, TX, bungalow residence with a covered parking, storage, and workbench space—all squeezed between the property’s large pecan tree and the edge of the property line (opposite page). To reduce scale and provide ventilation and natural light, the new structure is open on all sides. Two rolling metal doors, suspended from a laminated-wood beam that is supported by concrete columns, open to the workbench space (left). The wood siding matches the bungalow residence, and the corrugated metal roof recalls the former garage.

“Bringing quality and luxury to Kiawah Island...

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ily on residential projects. “But I fell in love with it. These structures were strong and raw and honest. There were no superficial elements. It really influenced me in my future work and taught me a lot. I continue some of those same ideas to this day. I love to use materials as honest and clear statements.” Those honest and clear statements are utilized in what many would consider a humble garage—but which still has all of the essentials. Affectionately referred to as “The Toolbox,” Roadcap’s oneof-a-kind garage sits on the lot of his Houston residence and utilizes many of the features he values. Working primarily with the original slab, the unique structure is open on all sides to best provide ventilation along with the most natural light possible. Every square inch of the structure

is designed for storage. Bolts and screws are oversized and exposed to emphasize the connections within the unique, multiuse facility. “Garages are not just the home of our cars but all our other stuff,” laughs Roadcap. “Everything I did in there served a specific purpose.” Despite the economy, Roadcap says he has kept pleasantly busy with work in and around the Houston area. “Houston is a city of transients, and economically they want to make more out of where they are,” he explains. “The 1920, 1930 bungalows are just too small for today’s families. We try to save the best of what’s there with additions that follow the lines of the original house. And while people’s budgets have decreased, they are still interested in modest additions that add something unique to the existing home.”

2120 Coker Avenue

Charleston, South Carolina

843.729.6992 MARCH 2011

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ARCHITECTs

Top Design Elements of the Ricardi Residence For this 5,000-square-foot golf-course estate in Kiawah Island, SC, Christopher Rose Architects captured a Lowcountry appeal with a contemporary flair by utilizing the following architectural elements: 1. Stair tower: The stairway leads the residents from the garage to the main level of the house; 2. Wood paneling: Adding a unique, custom-crafted look to the living spaces, the wood paneling increases the warmth and beauty of the home’s interior; 3. Shingle style: Also known as “seaside style,” this home combines the classic look of Shingle style with a luxurious modern layout; 4. Gables: On the second-floor exterior, each gable is accented by a curved secondary soffit, which is decorated with V-cut Western Red Cedar wood. .

love with high-end residences early in his career, he also acknowledges the humble side of luxury. “I have my feet in both worlds,” he says. Rose’s versatility and in-depth involvement in affordable housing design and construction has not gone unnoticed. He recently won the National Honor Award for the Charleston Cottages––Prototype Housing for the Homeless.

Christopher Rose Architects DRAWING ON DEEP-SOUTH ROOTS FOR A CLASSIC LOWCOUNTRY RETREAT by Kaleena Thompson Everything that’s old is new again when designing and building a Lowcountry home. According to architect Christopher Rose, president of Johns Island, South Carolina-based Christopher Rose Architects, his South Carolina roots and the region’s distinct package of environmental influences have helped create residential architecture tailored for the South. “The location of the house is a response

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to the sun and breezes that connect to the landscape and waters of the Lowcountry,” he says. With a focus on sustainable and custom high-end residences, both new construction and renovations in Virginia, Tennessee, and North Carolina, the firm has earned a reputation in coastal South Carolina. Even though Christopher Rose fell in

In business for more than 15 years, the team draws inspiration from their childhood experiences in the Lowcountry and combines that with the client’s individual lifestyle. “We individualize a person and a place through lifestyle interviews, and it creates an intimate partnership,” Rose says. “We take our influences and vernacular of the area and assign proper form, shape, and mass that flow with the neighborhood.” Through such dialogue and understanding, Rose and his architects bring the client’s dreams to life. The firm recently finished a home for a young family on Kiawah Island, South Carolina. Its Shingle-style two-story frame is situated on a golf course, where gaping oak trees serve as a canopy for the home. “It has the traditional principles of a Lowcountry home––porch, shingles, hardwood floors, and a gabled roof––but still has a modern flair,” Rose says. Rose believes that in today’s designs, a home’s interiors should reflect the lifestyle of the client

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ARCHITECTs

Site integration Less than a third of the Ricardi Residence’s lot is used for the home, a decision based on the sustainable practice of keeping the majority of the lot undisturbed, and on the desire to maintain the property’s oak trees. Now the trees serve as a canopy to the house and bring a sense of timelessness to the home.

“The siting of the house is a response to the sun and breezes that connect to the landscape and waters of the Lowcountry.” Chris Rose, President

and serve many purposes. Formal living and dining rooms, for example, are no longer popular because they’re considered wasted space. Rose designed the kitchen, housed between painted maple cabinets, to not only flow into the great room and dining room, but also onto the screened deck and porch. A fireplace in the great room provides a transition between the golf-course landscape and home. “The [client’s] lifestyle called for open floor plans, ones that flow when they are entertaining,” Rose says. “When you come up the stair tower from the garage, you walk into a mudroom, which has cubbies for everyone in the family. There is a 3/4 bath located off of it, which is shared by the playroom, and the media room has a pullout sofa to accommodate additional guests.” The H-shaped second level houses two children’s bedrooms on one end and two adult-size bedrooms on the opposite end with the master suite in the middle. The main level features the husband’s office, which can be transformed into a guest room. The wife

has an office located near the kitchen, and at the entry is a walk-in pantry. The layout situates the public rooms on view-centric upper floors, while the black walnut hardwood floors create a look and feel unmatched by typical wood floors.

system. “Other energy-efficient additions are spray-foam insulation, compact fluorescent light bulbs, Energy Star appliances, on-demand water heaters and high-efficiency heating, ventilation, and air conditioning equipment,” Rose says.

Rose says in the Lowcountry, the trend is to rediscover what we forgot. “Construction methods and materials marry century-old lessons of history with contemporary techniques of today, ” he says. Even the emerging influence of green architecture is leading architects back to a simpler time of function and purpose.

The firm continues to push the envelope to better its building practices and be on the cutting- edge of where the industry needs to go. Rose and Dyal Compass are now planning 16 LEED-certified homes that are part of a new, sustainable neighborhood on Kiawah Island called Heath Cottage Park. “The goal is to make these homes more readily available and affordable,” says Rose. “Our target market is for people who are looking for a second home, which will require minimal maintenance.”

A veteran in sustainable design, Rose’s latest project on 109 Flyway Drive of Kiawah Island just received its LEED certifications for its environmentally friendly building practices. “The house is the first on the island to gain Silver LEED status,” Rose says. The Shingle-style renovation was built as a remodel of an existing home, which now features low-e windows, low-flow faucets, showers, dual-flush toilets, and a high-efficiency irrigation

The firm’s green community has taken shape by already surpassing the requirement for LEED platinum points. “We want to create a green space for environmentally friendly advocates, and keep the doors open for new directions in sustainable design.

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Electrical Engineering Consultants

LANAI LOVELY For his own home, on the island of Lanai, Hawaii Island Architects founder Roger Brasel designed an infinity pool outside the living, dining, and kitchen space and the master bedroom. The interior features a triple-light soffit and 10-foot stacking doors that open onto the deck.

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When Roger Brasel and his wife went to Hawaii eight months after their graduation from Oklahoma State University in 1977, they had no idea they would be there to stay. “We were young and wanted to travel,” Brasel says. “We landed in Hawaii with our backpacks and hiked to a youth hostel, and after a while, we just decided to stay.” Brasel immediately put his architecture degree to good use when he started Hawaii Island Architects, LLC with his wife, and the two still run the company together today. Hawaii Island Architects is a full-service architectural firm that provides both design and construction-management services, usually taking on six to eight projects each year. “For the past 10

years, we’ve done mostly residential work, and we also do remodeling,” Brasel says. Although the company has been located on the Big Island since 1989, they design high-end homes throughout all of the Hawaiian Islands. “About 80 percent of our clients aren’t from the islands,” Brasel says. “We do a lot of vacation homes and dream homes for retirees.” The company’s ability to bring the style of the islands into every project is part of what makes Hawaii Island Architects so successful. “Hawaii living is more casual than in other places; it’s not so compartmentalized,” Brasel says. “One thing I have always done is to work in a lot of different motifs as opposed to just one style.” Brasel frequently in-

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Photo: Alvis Upitis

•communications system infrastructure


“One thing I have always done is to work in a lot of different motifs as opposed to just one style.” Roger Brasel, Owner

corporates an open floor plan that takes advantage of views and natural light. Brasel implemented this into his own home, which he and his wife built about four and a half years ago. “This is our dream home,” he says. “It’s a modern take on classic Hawaiian design with clean lines.” The Brasel home uses a lot of wood elements that are glazed five or six times for a modern look, and it has a very dynamic entry with a unique leaded-glass design above the door. “Virtually every room in the house has great air flow,” Brasel says. “The air flows off the ocean during the day and comes down from the mountains at night. This is how most homes are cooled here.”

Hawaii Island Architects’ Top Design Elements When it comes to designing island homes, there are elements that Brasel regularly incorporates. Here are five favorites: 1. An indoor-outdoor connection: Large doorways create one unified living space; 2. A  dynamic entryway: Having a prominent entrance to the home offers visitors a unique first impression; 3. Indirect lighting: Both inside and out, indirect lighting softens the look of the home and provides ambiance; 4. Good use of natural views and airflow: Analyzing the site before positioning the home allows the firm to take advantage of amazing views and cooling breezes; 5. A strong focal point: Features should stand out but also be in scale with the style of the house.

Another recent project, the Hokulia home, is located on the Jack Nicklaus Golf Course and is designed with an Asian-influenced style. “We call it island style,” Brasel says. This home provides a perfect example of one of Hawaii Island Architects’ favorite design elements: a connection between outside and inside. “The outside is basically just an extension of the living space,” Brasel says. Although designing is their forte, the Brasels have actually built five personal residences over the years. “This is something every architect should do at some point,” Brasel says. “When you’re building the project, you can see exactly where the money is going, and it helps you learn to come up with more efficient designs.” As for the small size of Hawaii Island Architects, Brasel says that he and his wife are happy with things just the way they are. “Our goal has never been to be a huge company,” he says. “We have always been very hands-on with our projects, and we want to be able to keep it that way.” The company’s business comes almost entirely from referrals and articles. “Repeat clients are also very important to us,” Brasel says. Hawaii Island Architects has built multiple homes and done remodels for several returning clients. “Over the years, as our capabilities have grown, the scale of our projects has also gotten bigger,” Brasel says.

product and design, inc. new york 718.858.2440 california 510.532.8991 www.productanddesign.com MARCH 2011

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the teams

Partnerships and collaborations between architecture pros

BKSK Architects LLP SIX PARTNERS COMBINE APPROACHES TO create WELL-CATERED DESIGNS by Zach Baliva Although some architectural firms preach one specific style, BKSK Architects LLP benefits from varying perspectives. The company, based in New York City, was founded 25 years ago by three friends who each bring differing views and philosophies to the drafting table. The broad spectrum of vantage points from which each BKSK residential project is created helps ensure client and contextual needs are perfectly addressed. BKSK is now made up of six partners who share some—but not all—of the same influences. Al-

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though Stephen Byrns was classically trained at Princeton and majored in history, partners Todd Poisson and Joan Krevlin take a more modern approach to their work. The talents of the remaining three partners Harry Kendall, Julia Nelson, and George Schieferdecker include traditional, sustainable, and institutional architecture. “Our design diversity is an unusual feature that has led to an enriched sensibility,” Byrns says. A project that comes in is discussed in depth and then matched to the partner or partners best suited to execute its design.

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the teams

GREENWICH VILLAGE SURPRISE The narrow 15-foot-wide façade of the West 12th Street Townhouse reveals little of the contemporary—and surprisingly spacious—interior (below). Fruit, flowers, and vegetables grow in the family’s rooftop garden (left), and the roof itself was rebuilt to provide a flat deck suitable for outdoor entertaining.

Top Design Elements of the West 12th Street Townhouse • Five-story open-riser stair and railings were designed by BKSK Architects and fabricated and installed by John Milich Product and Design (productanddesign. com). The stair was designed to span landing to landing, allowing it to float away from most vertical surfaces; • A Marmarino plaster-finish feature wall behind the stair was created by Jonas Everets Design (jonaseveretsdesign. com). The subtle texture and color create a perfect backdrop; • Custom-lacquered cabinetry was designed by BKSK Architects and fabricated and installed by Delphi Cabinetry (718361-1561), via John Enck of Endscape. Throughout the narrow house, ample storage hugs the walls, transitioning from kitchen cabinets to mechanical chases;

Photos: paul warchol

•T  he Moss Cellula chandelier by Anthologie Quartett (anthologiequartett.de) is in the parlor dining area. This owner-selected light fixture reinforces the idea of a formal dining space in an elongated room.

The success of this approach is demonstrated in the firm’s flawless gut renovation of a W. 12th St. town house in Manhattan, New York. The project, which called for the modernization of a historic property, fell to Poisson. His modern design was aided by other partners’ historic interests. “We made the house contemporary, but there is a real sense of quality, detailing, and craftsmanship,” he says.

The home’s unusual size and layout presented several challenges. The original cramped layout sat on a lot measuring 48’ x 15’. Poisson and his colleagues turned the limiting dimensions into a strength by stacking four living spaces on top of one another, each one featuring a single main room. The first floor, a parlor and dining space, displays a modern photo collection and cove lighting around an elegant dining table. A sleek and modern kitchen inhabits the second floor, which also has bedrooms, and there’s a rooftop terrace above. BKSK’s plan preserved historic fireplaces while gutting the property all the way to its floor joists to create a contemporary and open loft-like design. The success of Poisson’s design centers on a custom blackened-steel and walnut staircase that spans five stories and serves as the home’s connective tissue. “The stair is designed to be very tight to the wall and create a strong vertical reading from top to bottom,” Poisson says. The piece was fabricated and installed by John Milich Product and Design, which worked with BKSK to create a seamless and effortless stair that appears to hover in the space. Byrns, one of BKSK’s more traditional architects, displayed the more conventional side of the firm with his restoration of a 150-year-old house on the Hudson River. He studied the cruciform structure’s history and carefully matched it to local Victorian Gothic work done by Frederick Clarke Withers in the 1880s. Byrns redesigned the front porch, added a bay window, and removed aluminum siding and stucco. A beautifully restored porch in the back sits below a second-story terrace and provides magnificent views of the Hudson down to the George Washington Bridge. Inside, mixedwood varieties such as quarter-sawn white oak and mahogany create a repeating motif. Krevlin, another of BKSK’s partners with a more modern approach, stepped in to design an Upper East Side apartment. When the clients failed to find

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the teams

MOVING ON UP TO THE EAST SIDE Contemporary furniture and folk art, handpicked by the owners, expresses the family’s love of art and design. The suspended bamboo ceiling (right) helps define the dining area within a loft-like space that also includes the living space and an expansive view of the outside. A sleek staircase (above), framed by a blackened-steel and warm translucent-resin panel railing, connects the family’s formal living space to a more casual den below.

A 7,400-square-foot French estate in Oklahoma City, further exemplifies the diversity of BKSK. There, the architects designed an unusual mixedheight home to maintain proper elevation (most of the area is on the first floor and just a quarter on the second). The stucco-clad house with cast-stone

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elements was done with impeccable detailing and features a beautiful slate roof complemented with lead-coated copper dormers. The home, with interiors by Fanny Bolen, contains countless memorable features. A staircase swoops up in a classic French design without the usual superficial gloss and remains absolutely faithful to its inspiration. A surprising double-height room with half timbering displays a mantle of French limestone and terracotta floors that together form an intimate breakfast room. These four projects are drastically different in function, region, size, and style—yet each one fits its client well. Anyone lucky enough to view the quartet of homes in person would be surprised to

learn that they come from the same architectural firm. That fact is a testament to the philosophy and approach of the talented team behind BKSK Architects.

a message from John Milich Product and Design Product and Design, Inc. is a modern fabrication shop specializing in custom architectural metalwork for residential and commercial clients throughout the United States. Serving the architectural and construction industry since 1985 with locations in New York City and Oakland, California, we build custom staircases, railings, doors, furniture, handrails, sculptures and other unique pieces.

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Photos: Jonathan Wallen

an apartment they liked as much as their own, they bought the next door unit, which Krevlin helped combine with the existing space. “Our goal was to build a continuity of spaces that merge through a material language,” Krevlin says. She used two kinds of bamboo in areas that unfold into one another. Translucent lumacite panels are used to separate spaces and introduce a loft-like feel into the traditional apartment layout while built-in display cases show off the client’s various collections.


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the teams

Top Architectural Elements of the Gardener’s Cottage

Hilton-VanderHorn Architects RECREATING TRADITIONAL, HIGH-END ARCHITECTURE FOR THE MODERN WORLD by Kaleena Thompson Traditional architecture speaks in lovely proportions, classic lines, and sophisticated scale and style when fashioned by 21st-century visionaries Chuck Hilton and Douglas VanderHorn of HiltonVanderHorn Architects. Thanks to a dedicated clientele, the firm flourishes, creating high-end, traditionally inspired architecture tailored for the modern world. “We strive to identify a stylistic direction for each project that harmoniously addresses the client’s lifestyle, [the] project’s context, and functional requirements,” Hilton says. In business for more than 20 years, the Greenwich, Connecticut-based firm has earned a distinguished reputation throughout Connecticut and New York.

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In addition to Hilton’s founding partner Douglas VanderHorn, the firm is composed of 14 employees: associate partners, multi-talented architects, and an experienced office staff. “Our in-house team members have backgrounds in construction, green building, and historic preservation, which give rise to our distinctive projects,” Hilton says. He also credits the firm’s top-notch network of consultants, which includes landscape architects, decorators, and engineers. “We are more collaborative than most firms, which allows us to beautifully execute the client’s vision regardless of how specialized the request might be.” Projects run from 3,000-square-foot, historically sensitive renovations and additions to

To revive this French-style country farm for garden enthusiasts in Greenwich, CT, Hilton-VanderHorn Architects drew upon the following French Norman elements: 1. Greenhouse: Framed with metal, this structure possesses the strength and durability required for ample vegetation and a limitless number of hanging plants; 2. Cottage: Real hand-hewn timber gives the structure an authentic and handcrafted look; 3. S  late roof: The roof is made of graduated slates, which gives scale and visual height to the small cottage; 4. Environmental integration: Integration between the site and the building is key. The building walls that extend to surround the garden blend the cottage harmoniously with the surrounding landscape.

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the teams

the teams

GARDEN GREETING The potting room (left) of this French-country cottage looks out over the vegetable garden. The ceiling’s oak planking and beams hang above French plaster walls. The cabinetry has a distressed finish with CaesarStone countertops (caesarstoneus.com). The entry room (right) welcomes visitors with flagstone flooring, and the lighting fixtures, art, and furniture are all garden-themed.

12,000-square-foot, traditionally inspired new constructions. Hilton-VanderHorn’s substantial investment in design and quality has attracted imaginative clients who bring their own ideas to each project. As a result, the firm’s projects are unique and distinctive but also well planned, comfortable, and functional. Recently, garden enthusiasts hired the firm to renovate and add to their four-acre French-country farm. “There were three existing buildings on the property, which we refer to as the studio, the gardener’s cottage, and the main house,” Hilton says. The firm remodeled the studio and the cottage and then added a greenhouse to support the couple’s interest in organic farming. The greenhouse maintains ideal growing conditions yearround with the help of a sophisticated and largely automated climate-control system. The main house was recently taken down and replaced with a new French country barn-style house that serves as the primary abode. “The building had a rundown French aesthetic, so we preserved its French country influences with stone, stucco, timber, and slate finishes,” Hilton says. The architecture is also flexible—the cottage set up to function as a caretaker’s quarters or guest accommodations. For an active family that wants an outdoor cooking and living space, a stone-clad porch with a kitchen might be in order. “We worked on the

house 18 years ago, and the current homeowners asked us to do some renovations and additions,” Hilton says. The clients requested that the luxury designers craft a covered outdoor kitchen. Framed of stone, the 16-by-20-foot entertainment porch features a stainless-steel grill and hood, a Douglas fir ceiling, a paddle fan, Italian patio furniture, and a fireplace to warm guests on cool Connecticut nights. In Westchester’s elite suburb of Bronxville, New York, a family desired a seasonal guesthouse for entertaining family and friends. Hilton-VanderHorn designed a functional guesthouse adjacent to the Colonial-style main house. Fashioned for summer gatherings but easily transformed for extended stays in the winter, it features two large entertainment spaces, four bedrooms, multiple baths, and changing rooms for pool-side excursions. Hilton adds that with its symmetrical front, stone finishings, and formal entryway, the miniColonial guesthouse is at home with the other charming houses in the neighborhood. Although well versed in their craft, Hilton and VanderHorn were not originally educated in traditional architecture. Yet, as college classmates they shared an affinity for the timeless forms, fine materials, and quality craftsmanship of traditional design. “When we were in college, the curriculum for architecture was modernism,” Hilton says. However, Hilton and VanderHorn taught themselves about period architecture and

high-end design with inspiration from architect figureheads such as Edwin Lutyens, Charles Platt, and David Adler. “I find their work relevant and inspiring today,” he says. “We just hope to continue to build traditional homes with the same enduring character.”

a message from Artistic Doors and Windows Artistic Doors and Windows congratulates HiltonVanderHorn Architects on their many past, present, and future successes. We are honored to be a key trusted vendor supplying quality products, service, and support to many of this great firm’s esteemed residences. We look forward to our continued partnership.

a message from Schwartz’s Forge & Metalworks, Inc Schwartz’s Forge & Metalworks, Inc. is committed to artistic and technical excellence. The company provides complete design services or collaborates with other design professionals. Thirty-five years of experience and research have given this company a national reputation. Through sensitive application of traditional black-smithing and modern metal-fabrication techniques, client expectations are exceeded. Skilled artisans make quality and attention to detail a priority. For more information please call 315.841.4477 or visit www.schwartzsforge.com

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the teams

Selin + Selin Architecture THE CREATIVE POWER OF THIS HUSBAND-WIFE TEAM PROVES THAT a WHOLE IS GREATER THAN ITS PARTS

A CURIOUS COMBO Selin + Selin designed the Cohen Residence as an Arts & Crafts/ Shingle-style home with Asian influences to accommodate a family’s seemingly disparate requests.

by Ruth E. Dávila

“Together we help our clients develop the program and find the soul of the project,” says Judith, who co-owns Selin + Selin Architecture with her husband. “There is a lot to be said for the creative power of combined male and female perspectives.” The couple met 25 years ago, when Stephen was on break from graduate school, and Judith, a

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math teacher, was on summer vacation. “We both happened to take a job leading high school kids on bike trips for an organization in central Massachusetts,” Stephen says. After leading separate trips (his in Washington State, hers in England), they reconnected, and they have been together ever since. “Right off the bat, we both shared a common interest in architecture—seeing it, drawing it, and visiting it,” Stephen says. Today, married with two grown daughters, designwatching is a hobby. The couple spends lots of free time traveling and studying the architecture of the places they visit.

The couple’s joint venture into architecture started at home. “We started tearing apart our own little farmhouse that we bought after our kids were born,” Stephen says. “We did just about all the work on it ourselves, and Judith got to understand what’s behind the architecture through that process.” Selin + Selin launched in the spring of 1999 in Shelburne, Vermont. The firm has become known for designing Shingle-style houses with an unfussy, rustic Victorian aesthetic, for which both Stephen and Judith share an affinity. “When we say that we work collaboratively, we don’t mean that we work at the same drawing table holding the same pencil,” Stephen says. Rath-

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Photos: jim westphalen

Stephen and Judith Selin represent the yin and yang of home design. Stephen is a “renaissance” architect with engineering savvy, a drive for energy efficiency, and a keen sense of proportion. Judith is an intuitive designer who looks beyond the blueprints to make homes work for people throughout the many stages of life.


the teams

WOOD WORKS Using different woods adds an interesting dimension of color. The lights and range hood are by Kip Mesirow at Verdigris Copperworks (802985-5873). Cabinetry is by Fine Lines in Wood (finelinesinwood.com).

er, at the start of a project, each creates a concept independently. Then they review and select the best aspects from each, combining elements to form an even better hybrid. “We’ve found that this helps us find a whole that is greater than the sum of its parts,” Stephen explains. Proof of this method’s effectiveness can be seen in the projects the firm has completed. For a classic farmhouse on Lake Champlain, the Cohen family sought out Selin + Selin for a unique mix. The Cohen’s wanted an Arts & Crafts/Shingle-style home infused with an Asian influence. The Selins reoriented the home completely. “To create a sense of arrival, the first thing was to actually fill the space between the house and garage with a new arched entryway,” Stephen says. “To get light into internal spaces, dormers and a large cupola were added, and entire sections of the interior were removed to let the light filter in.” The home’s interior was opened up to afford lake views. In addition, the designers added a covered wraparound porch to transition to the exterior and a towering hip-roofed cupola. Narrow clapboards retain the essence of the farmhouse. Inside, the details shine. The copper and mica light fixtures, as well as the copper kitchen hood, were made by Katharine Cohen’s father, Kip Mesirow, a renowned coppersmith. Bringing in other specialists is important for the Selins. “In addition to creating buildings that seem to belong, we feel we’ve been able to help employ the skills of many local craftsmen and women to create the parts and pieces that make up any good project,” Stephen says.

“There is a lot to be said for the creative power of combined male and female perspectives.” JUDITH Selin, Partner Another project, for the Weese family, had the Selins designing an ultra-efficient, modern Arts & Crafts home on steeply sloping land, which they cleared to offer views of beautiful hills, woods, and farms to the west. The exterior boasts a simple shape, bold colors, large roof overhangs and support brackets, oversized windows, and a galvanized roof with a cupola “reminiscent of a maple sugar shack.” Inside, maple-veneer woodwork and African sapele-wood floors are offset by arches and modern details. “Using real materials and strong color serves to warm up that modern aesthetic,” Stephen says. True to the Selins’ penchant for energy efficiency, the Weese house is well insulated and air sealed. The home relies on a super-efficient heating plant to withstand chilling Vermont winters. This green streak has been with the company for a long time, and it looks as though it’s here to stay. “We are proud of being ‘green’ long before it was ever a popular [turn] of phrase,” Judith says. “We try to make our buildings healthy to live in and to use the earth’s resources wisely.” All in all, Stephen adds, the Selins’ homes have a sense of place. “Our projects fit the clients, they fit the site, and they fit the community.”

MIXING THE OLD WITH THE NEW The porch’s narrow clapboards maintain the Cohen home’s farmhouse aesthetic.

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CENTER SPIRAL The circular stair inside Clarence Manor is a centerpiece of the home’s period design.

C L E A R WAT E R BUILDER S Find us on the web at ClearwaterBuildersVT.com

It is always a rewarding experience to have the opportunity to work on a project where all participants are winners. Selin & Selin created a design that involved the evolution of a 1920’s Vermont farmhouse into a 21st century home. Clearwater Builders proudly implemented their practical artistry as they incorporated the reality of family life into design details. Our congratulations to Selin & Selin for their vision in making this beautiful space for an outstanding young family.

WESKetch Architecture DESIGNING CASUAL, HANDCRAFTED STYLE FOR THE MODERN WORLD

The Greek philosopher Plato wrote that future architects should play at building houses as children. Architect William E.S. Kaufman didn’t just play with wooden blocks. “I started mechanical drawings when I was 15 years old, and then I designed a house for my parents,” says Kaufman, president of WESKetch Architecture in Millington, New Jersey. When Kaufman started WESKetch in 1996, he expanded his initials to read WESKetch, or We

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Sketch. “I didn’t want to have the focus around me,” he says. “It’s a team effort.” Although the company works primarily on commercial and institutional projects, it has found a firm footing in high-end residential work by creating a handcrafted exterior style that owes a clear debt to early 20th-century architecture. “Architect greats like Edwin Lutyens set the standard of how great homes are crafted,” Kaufman says. “It’s our mission to capture those architectural elements that will stand the test of time.” The firm’s repeat clients

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Photos of wayside manor: ian bradshaw

by Kaleena Thompson


the teams

WESKetch Architecture’s Top Architectural Elements WESKetch Architecture’s artful blend of classical and modern architecture, meticulous attention to design details, and elaborate use of space are the hallmarks of its enduring house designs, which will never go out of style. •D  ynamic and interesting forms: In a world of bigger, better, best, it is more important to build a sanctuary that’s unique, simple, and elegant in substance; TIERED TOPOGRAPHY The multileveled landscape was taken into account during building, and this angle showcases the home’s impressive stair tower.

•N  atural materials: Not only are natural materials healthy for homeowners; they also have an appeal that speaks to people’s hearts and souls; • Indoor and outdoor space: The manipulations of space for dramatic effect and an intimate relationship between the residents and their built environments allow the designers to create harmony and flow between the indoor and outdoor spaces.

will agree that period architecture is at its finest at the hands of WESKetch Architecture. The team’s depth of expertise has earned the firm a reputation for timeless, high-quality structures. A talented group of designers, architects, and planners combine their skills to carry out sustainable design in traditional homes. In the firm’s effort to pioneer healthy homes, Carmen Iuso, associate and head of the company’s residential projects, says the materials have to be authentic. “Most of our houses incorporate building materials such as handmade brick, authentic stone, all-wood windows, and slate roofs to evoke a time when homes were designed and built by craftsmen,” Iuso says. One exemplary project is an impressive three-story, 10,000-square-foot English manor. Built in the comfortable corners of Bergen County, New Jersey, the European concrete-style driveway serves as the red carpet to this visual wonder. The stone and stucco exterior is a graceful introduction to the quality throughout. Additionally, WESKetch created a floorplan ideal for a young, active family by fashioning a seamless boundary between the home’s interior and exterior. And an ornate, decorative ceiling inspires architectural awe in the elliptical foyer. “The flat

ceilings in the stair hall are accentuated with plaster mouldings on the first floor and wood beams at the top floor,” Iuso says. Hardwood and stone-tile floors with ebony and cherry borders complement the Old World style of the home, and a curvaceous staircase serves as an exquisite centerpiece that winds from the basement to the third floor. In order to mirror the family’s socially active lifestyle, Kaufman says, “we created a large familyroom space that has a built-in fireplace and custom bookshelves.” Seven bedrooms, seven full baths, and four half baths leave plenty of room for multiple guests. Other features include a theater to support the daughter’s thespian dreams, and the basement is a recreational haven for the son. With sustainable architecture and green building always at the forefront of every project, Iuso notes the dwelling’s energy-efficient design. “This home has extremely high-efficiency windows and insulation as well as the highest-efficiency boilers and AC,” says Iuso, who is a LEED AP. “The health of the occupant is critical when we design,” Kaufman says. “[For this house], we used natural materials with low chemical compounds.” The firm completed an Energy Star-rated home in Atlantic County, New Jersey, in 2009. The American Colonial home featured the usual suspects in green design with a nod to 1920s architecture. “The gables, dormers, chimney, cedar-shingle siding, and a wraparound porch accentuate the classic time period,” Iuso says. “The owners wanted a beautiful house without being ostentatious, just nestled into the fabric of the town.” Projects run the gamut from 3,000 to above 20,000 square feet, with estimated design timelines of one to two years. However, larger projects, although an adventure, can take double the time.

Kaufman recalls a palatial estate, nestled in central New Jersey, that took more than two years to design and four years to construct. “The High English manor’s stone and handmade brick façade has an English Tudor aesthetic,” he says, adding that multiple chimneys soar out of the home’s rooftop. The interior leads with solid mahogany doors, which gives a dramatic first impression. The estate glows with a double-twist back staircase, a fullsize English pub, a two-story library, a bowling alley, two gyms, and a dozen fireplaces for those northern winters. In the current economy, Kaufman has found that larger estates such as the one in central New Jersey are becoming less in demand as a new era of practicality begins. “Regardless of the size, we want to progress with the quality of the design in relation to the economy, focus on residential markets, and remain flexible with respect to the client’s needs.”

A MESSAGE FROM Gail Whiting Design Consultants As the owner of Design Consultants, Gail Whiting ASID, CID, I welcomed the opportunity to work in concert with the Wesketch firm on this amazing project. We collaborated on the interior millwork concepts, stone and marble selections, and all the interior finishes. The key to the designer and architect relationship is to respect each other’s strengths and talents while working together for the right solution for the client. When the interior designer is brought in from inception the client get the best of all worlds. Design Consultants specializes in creating appropriate and unique interiors while reflecting the personalities and life styles of our clients.

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Telefono: +809 334-6606 Fax: +809 334-6601 E-mail: contactenos@coydisa.com

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vacation homes

second homes and getaways across the globe

The Hibiscus Home Built in a Caribbean gingerbread style, the Hibiscus Home was a renovation of a small, existing dwelling in St. Lucia. “It was not a remarkable house to begin with, just a small cottage with a small pool,” Pettigrew says. The clients wanted an authentic Caribbean home where they could entertain family and friends.

Homes of the Caribbean LANE PETTIGREW ASSOCIATES HAS EARNED A REPUTATION FOR ISLAND-style ARCHITECTURAL AUTHENTICITY

photo: courtesy www.ozonezonebooks.com

by Dave Hudnall In 1986, Lane Pettigrew traveled to Bermuda and entered a competition to design a Club Med vacation resort for the country. He was fresh out of architecture school at the time, and the design plan he drew up at his kitchen table was up against designs from large international architecture firms, but Pettigrew’s plan still won the competition. “I started my own firm almost immediately after that, right there in Bermuda,” he says. “I had always wanted to be a Caribbean architect.”

For an American citizen to dream specifically of becoming a Caribbean architect might seem like an unusual goal, but Pettigrew had been schooled in Venezuela and Colombia, and his grandfather had worked as an architect in the Caribbean. “I had a tropical background, and I later received my formal architectural education in England,” he says. “Of course the Caribbean has a British colonial history, so to work there was a natural fit given my experiences.” Club Med soon gave Pettigrew the opportunity to move to St. Lucia and design a new resort, so

St. Lucia Population: 170,000 Attractions: The Sulphur Springs drive-in volcano, Marigot Bay, Pigeon Island National Park, Fort Rodney, The Gros and Petit Piton mountains, and numerous beaches

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VACATION HOMES

Arc En Ciel Named after the French word for “rainbow” and designed for a British family, this 5,600-square-foot St. Lucian home was built on the side of a mountain in a pavilion style. “It was our first attempt at creating a truly handmade Caribbean home,” Pettigrew says. Local, handmade materials such as red cedar, clay tiles, milled flooring from Central America, and claddings from local stonemasons were incorporated into the design. The firm even researched and replicated the historical details of the structure’s original shutters. Separate walkways lead to the five bedrooms while navigating the outdoor spaces, which include a rock pool. “You can learn how to scuba dive in this swimming pool,” Pettigrew says.

“We live in a pristine world down here, and we don’t want to be at all involved with ruining or paving this spectacular paradise.”

HIDDEN HIDEAWAY The unique stone-paved waterfall grotto at Arc en Ciel is hidden deep in the pool area. The small stone cave was custom built by the firm to add a touch of playfulness to the outdoor area.

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he moved operations to the island. He quickly established himself there with the help of Lord Glenconner, the British Lord who purchased the island of Mustique in 1958 and later turned St. Lucia into one of the most famous tropical destinations in the world. “From Lord Glenconner I was able to make a lot of connections and establish a firm base of clients,” he says. Pettigrew’s goal of being a Caribbean architect has certainly been accomplished; he’s even known informally as the Architect Laureate of the Caribbean.

bean, and we’ve worked in 22 of them, and we’ve never had a year when we weren’t working in at least six of those,” he says. Although the region is large geographically, it’s relatively small in terms of communities. For the most part, there are few large cities in the Caribbean. “When you work in St. Lucia and do a good job, it’s not unusual to get a job in Jamaica as a result,” Pettigrew says. “So you end up working in all these different locations and joining the architectural societies in many different countries.”

What does being a Caribbean architect entail? “There are technically 26 countries in the Carib-

From an architectural point of view, the common thread of Lane Pettigrew Associates is one of

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photos: courtesy www.ozonezonebooks.com

Lane Pettigrew, Founder


Providing “Full Service” Kitchen Planning & Design Commercial & Residential Specialty Laundry For more information, call us at:

954-893-0288 La Giralda island design. A designer in Florida in need of a specific building material would simply get into his or her car and drive to a showroom. In the Caribbean, such simple access generally does not exist. Items have to be sourced, ordered, and shipped, which complicates the process. “As a designer, it pushes you toward using more natural or readily available materials,” Pettigrew says. “Elsewhere, designs tend to be system-driven and picked from a catalog or showroom, but there aren’t many showrooms in the Caribbean, so you have to be much more inventive with your use of materials.You look at design in a different way.” Such an approach lends itself naturally to sustainable design, and Pettigrew reports that the firm advertises itself as Caribbean green. “We live in a pristine world down here, and we don’t want to be at all involved with ruining or paving this spectacular paradise,” he says. Green spaces and grass are maximized. “We’d rather park on broken stones with grass growing in the joints than a concrete slab with lines painted on it,” he says. Lifestyles also influence island architecture, and outdoor spaces with access to wind, sea breezes, and clear skies are regularly emphasized. Because of the stability of the climate, “people tend to eat meals outside, drink outside, have their morning coffee and paper outside,” Pettigrew says. “Lives are lived outdoors here. In the islands we design deeper, wider verandas and larger patios.You integrate more with the outside environment. That’s why the great Caribbean homes have fabulous terraces and decks.”

La Giralda, Lane Pettigrew’s personal vacation home, is situated on the south end of Guanaja Island in Memory Bay. Like in his earlier St. Lucian designs (Arc en Ciel and Beausejour), the entrance to the house is of significant importance. “It is a sacred threshold that you cross before immersing yourself in the hospitality of your hosts,” Pettigrew says. “It is a defining moment. And in the Caribbean, where I try to emphasize the garden or the exterior environment, I like to step through a gate—where you can also [take] shelter from the rain or sun and take a look once more at the garden that the home sits in.”

or email:

rpineirojr@innovationusa.us We have locations around the world to better serve you Miami, Florida Dominican Republic Jamaica Puerto Rico Saint Lucia Trinidad & Tobago

The entrance of La Giralda takes visitors through a heavy wooden gate into a pavilion with a grass-thatched roof. The structure has the appearance of a small shrine with wooden statues and hand-carved angels flanking the timber columns.

Fagor Appliances Fagor Furniture Fagor Commercial Visit Us today at:

www.fagoramerica.com www.fagorcommercial.com Now with offices in Miami, Honduras, and St. Lucia, Lane Pettigrew Associates’ staff fluctuates but remains for the most part a mid-sized firm with between 10 and 50 employees depending on demand. It handles comprehensive master planning, architecture, and conceptual design, and its residential designs have been featured widely throughout the media on HGTV and in media outlets like Architectural Digest and The NewYork Times. Despite the acknowledgements, honors,

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IN THEIR OWN BACKYARD La Giralda’s design places the house high on the cliff to offer spectacular views of the Caribbean Sea. The back deck faces the sea and looks down on the beach.

Professionals

“Elsewhere, designs tend to be system-driven and picked from a catalog or showroom, but there aren’t many showrooms in the Caribbean, so you have to be much more inventive with your use of materials. You look at design in a different way.” Lane Pettigrew, Founder

from any perspective Renderings 3d Plans SitePlans 3d Walkthroughs Animations

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A MESSAGE FROM Innovation Works Inc. As an immigrant arriving from Cuba at the age of 15, working with Lane was the course that a university could never teach you; the art of creation as a symphony of illusions and gelling them into a single idea. Our company Innovation Works Inc. plans and designs home kitchens, commercial kitchens & laundries for the hospitality industry, using state of the art equipment. Lane’s influences can be found is most of our work throughout the Caribbean, Central and South America. We often sit together at the design table and last week Lane passed me the pen for the Amber Dune project, I did not realize it then but it was a very special moment. For the record it took over 14 years. Thank you Lane for your trust Raul Pineiro Jr. and Colleagues.

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photo: courtesy www.ozonezonebooks.com

and acclaim, Pettigrew’s focus on maintaining his status as a premier Caribbean architect remains firm. “I’ve really never wanted to be anything else,” he says.


vacation homes SURROUNDED BY SUN This stunning pool, designed by Village Architects, is nestled on its site in such a way that it is visible from virtually all of the property’s balconies.

Key Biscayne Village Architects, Inc. Rebuilds the Florida Keys by Amy Meadows When Hurricane Andrew struck South Florida in August 1992, the Florida Keys, including the tropical island paradise known as Key Biscayne, took a direct hit. Although most people could not see past the utter devastation, Deborah De Leon saw the potential to rebuild the upscale residential village and beloved vacation spot, which has been her home since she moved to the US from Cuba when she was 5 years old. “Many friends and relatives suffered damages to their homes, and several needed to rebuild,” De Leon says. With years of experience in the industry and an original vision, De Leon decided to open the doors to Village Architects, Inc., her own full-service architectural firm.

“Quickly, jobs started coming in,” De Leon says. Soon after, she joined forces with colleague Robert John, and over the last 18 years the powerhouse team has made a name for Village Architects as the go-to company for truly high-end, custom, single-family residences in Key Biscayne as well as throughout the Miami area. And the reason is simple: when it comes to design, Village Architects’ spectacular work is as fluid as the blue waters that flow all around the Florida Keys.

The Florida Keys Population: 80,000 Attractions: Key Largo, known for its outstanding diving and snorkeling; Islamorada, known for exceptional sport fishing; and Big Pine Key, known for laid-back boating adventures

“The approach we take is usually defined by the characteristics of the property, such as size, shape, and natural features,” says John, another principal with the firm. “Trying to include these attributes

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Top Design Elements for Building in the Florida Keys

FINE FURNITURE, INC.

Homeowners who choose to settle in the Florida Keys, either year-round or in a vacationing capacity, usually want their residences to have that certain Florida feel marked by classic elegance and a casual atmosphere. Here, Deborah De Leon identifies five design considerations that can be applied to achieve the island-living experience that Florida Keys residents desire while still creating a home that will stand the test of time. 1. L  arge overhangs: These allow for pleasant outdoor living throughout the year; 2. C  ross ventilation: This aids in the heat reduction of interior spaces; 3. An elevated structure: This is key for homes situated in the flood plain; 4. Materials that age well: With exposure to salt, rain, and plentiful sun, the homes need durable materials such as locally sourced stone, stucco, pine, or metal roofing; 5. Proper orientation of the home: This helps the structure take advantage of natural features such as ocean views or the angle of the morning sun.

PHONE 305.479.0541 FAX 305.889.0112

745 W. 18th Hialeah, FL 33010

allows our projects to be harmonious with their environment and just as unique.” Although De Leon, John, and their staff have a cache of Florida Keys-friendly design elements that they often incorporate into their designs of primary residences and vacation homes—such as large overhangs, copious windows to bring the outside closer, and spectacular outdoor living spaces that include pools, covered terraces, and cabanas—the firm does not adhere to a signature style, choosing instead to let the site of the home and the clients’ wishes and needs dictate the end result. “I believe we are not truly defined by a style because we love to try different architectural languages and pride ourselves on staying new and ahead of the trends,” De Leon says. “Design should always be fluid and in constant flux. The projects we enjoy working on are those in which we are in harmony with the client, when the client trusts that we will design a home that suits them in every way.” And John agrees. “We need to become a confidant of our clients—someone who understands

how they live and interact as a family so that we may give them a final product that makes them feel comfortable and at ease,” he says. Two homes that typify the firm’s diverse portfolio—which includes both new construction and remodeling of spacious homes, usually in the 7,000-square-foot range—are the Garcia residence and the Kong residence. The former, which was the firm’s first waterfront property, allowed De Leon to take advantage of a particular passion that she shared with her clients. “The design was a hybrid of my Cuban roots and a colonial Caribbean style with wraparound balconies and simply beautiful spaces,” she says. In addition to a flowing floor plan, components such as real-wood beams and excellent cross ventilation provided by the balconies illustrate a great understanding of Cuban architecture and “where its influences come from and how the climate and culture changed the architectural language and created a new style in Cuba,” De Leon says. The Kong residence’s design plan, on the other hand, stemmed from the property itself, which offered amazing views of the bay and encouraged De Leon and John to lean towards a very tropical feel so the home would be in complete harmony with its surroundings. While the process was a challenge, Village Architects was able to create a dwelling that offers incredible panoramas from nearly every space in the home. “We had a great relationship with the client and the general contractors, and we worked as a team,” De Leon says. “And through the project, we learned not to be afraid to break the mold, confirming to us that design is the strength of any project.” Having been part of the master planning and zone coding of Key Biscayne, De Leon feels a strong connection to the city and a high level of accountability to the community. Steering away from cookie-cutter projects and allowing designs to unfold organically has allowed the firm’s homes to become true showpieces in Key Biscayne, bolstering the area’s distinctive aesthetic. And that’s the way De Leon and John hope it will be for years to come. “We never want our passion towards architecture to get lost to the business of architecture,” De Leon says. “Our work comes from our being, and we take great strides towards different and new designs. Our team is devoted to our projects and client satisfaction.”


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distinction

Serving a unique niche in the custom-home industry

FORTIFIED FAçADE This San Diego, CA, home sports an exposed earthquake-resistant steel frame infilled with a rainscreen-façade system made of durable phenolic wood paneling.

Macy Architecture SUSTAINABLE DESIGNS WITH AN INVENTIVE, DISCIPLINED AESTHETIC by Dave Hudnall Artistic sustainable design is an admirable company mission, and it’s been working for Macy Architecture since Mark Macy founded the firm in 1994. Prior to this, he had studied architecture in Florence, Italy, with Cristiano Toraldo di Francia, one of the founders of Superstudio, the radical architecture firm that rose to prominence in the 1960s. A look at Macy Architecture’s portfolio reveals that progressive influence, but Macy views his firm as generalists, not specialists. “We’re interested in a variety of challenges,” he says. Those challenges have come in the form of institutional work, retail buildings, and multifamily housing, but single-family custom homes have long been Macy’s forte, and plenty of people in

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the industry have noticed the firm’s custom-home talents. A high-profile project Macy Architecture recently completed for a San Diego client was awarded 2009 Home of the Year by San Diego Home & Garden magazine. The design of the Sustainable Steel Home, as the project is known, is breathtaking and modern, but it is also, as its name suggests, quite green. “All of our work is grounded in sustainability,” Macy says. “The Sustainable Steel Home is almost net-zero from an electrical-energy perspective; we have a net-metering photovoltaic system on the roof, but more fundamentally it was conceived according to sensible passive-solar design principles. Horizontal sunshades are sized to

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distinction

“Applying our design approach to market-rate housing is an exciting challenge.” Mark Macy, Principal

Top Design Elements for the Sustainable Steel Home shield glass from summer heat gain but allow winter sun to warm the interior. Likewise, the central atrium works with high clerestory windows to naturally ventilate the home.”

photos: scot conti

The home’s green features fit logically into the larger theme of the design, which was intended to be especially low-maintenance and straightforward. “The client is a doctor, a very rational person, and so it was important for the house to be analogous to his interests and personality,” Macy says. “We spent a lot of time simplifying the layout and the various systems.” Additionally, the design is a hybrid that references both Southern California modernism and Macy’s Italian experiences. The steel structural frame is exposed as an expressive design element in the manner of mid-century Los Angeles architects

such as Craig Ellwood and Pierre Koenig, and the placement of the living room, dining room, and master suite on the upper level conforms to the layout of a traditional Italian palazzo. “There’s a relationship to the outdoors in the design, but it’s more about views, sky, and sunlight than the indoor-outdoor flow to a garden,” he says. “There’s a feeling of living above your immediate surroundings that allows you to connect with more than just your property.” LEED projects have become more common for Macy Architecture, and though the firm is currently pursuing a café project that will become one of the first LEED-certified restaurants in San Francisco, Macy remains just as energized about the possibilities and future of home design. “Applying our design approach to market-rate housing is an exciting challenge,” he says. “We like taking on work like that.”

1. Captured rainwater: This is stored on-site using two 1,700-gallon prefabricated underground cisterns, which then irrigate the surrounding landscape that consists mostly of native and drought-tolerant plants; 2. A “cool roof”: This aluminized membrane coating helps cool the home; 3. H  ydronic radiant system: This heats the home through the flooring; 4. Recycled insulation: This is made from recycled cotton and soy-based foam; 5. Steel structure: It’s durable and low-maintenance, and at least 25% is recycled content.

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DOUBLE DUTY Atop the Bethesda Zero Home’s garage, this space combines a green roof with a rooftop terrace, offering energyefficient benefits and an entertainment space.

Meditch Murphey Architects Husband-and-wife team is bringing sustainable housing to life by Kaleena Thompson Architects John Murphey and Marcie Meditch of Meditch Murphey Architects have risen the bar for energy-efficient houses. They have combined their international influences to create eye-catching abodes that are healthy for people and the planet. “We are taking new directions in sustainable architecture and designs by combining simplicity with a strong interest in eco-design,” Murphey says.

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The couple, based in Chevy Chase, Maryland, met in the 1980s on a college architecture trip to China. Murphey and Meditch boast of how the buildings and age-old architecture inspired their design aesthetic early on. Before setting up shop in 2000, the couple had won awards and acclaim at other firms in the DC area. Meditch says right before her former boss retired, he challenged her

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distinction

The Bethesda Zero House This 4,000-square-foot net-zero house in Bethesda, MD, raises the bar for energy-efficient properties. It relies on both solar and geothermal energy systems and features LED and fluorescent lighting throughout. The orientation of the house maximizes its passivesolar capabilities, and the surrounding landscape is outfitted with trees—which won’t require artificial irrigation—placed carefully to shade the home when fully grown. Additional energy-efficient elements include a rigid-foam insulation shell and an energy-recovery ventilator that transfers moisture from the exhaust air to fresh incoming air.

to start her own firm. “Within three years, I built up an overwhelming amount of business, so that’s when John joined me.” For more than 10 years, the firm has been pushing the envelope in the field of green design. For example, building a net-zero-energy house was more than just a project; it was an experiment to show how a highly energy-efficient and affordable home could be built in the current market. “So without a buyer lined up, we consulted a realtor and an energy consultant and started developing some concepts,” Meditch says. Luckily, an environmentalist bought it before completion in November 2009.

Built in the comfortable corners of Bethesda, Maryland, the net-zero house is run by a large solar array on the roof and flat-panel solar hotwater collectors. It also relies on a geothermal energy system to heat and cool the home. And with a combination of new federal and county tax incentives, the new energy systems will pay for themselves over time, Meditch adds. The 4,000-square-foot, five-bedroom house has strong elements of sustainable design, Murphey notes, pointing out that window placements allow air to flow through the house and cool it naturally. As for lighting, a combination of LED and fluorescents were used throughout the bedrooms, bathrooms, and kitchen. “What can really bring out the beauty in a green home is the lighting,” he says. “If you can handle light well, it gives real luxury and beauty.” Before the Bethesda home was eventually sold, it housed educational workshops for residents, community leaders, and other architects. “Our mission was to demonstrate how you can build an energy-efficient home without sacrificing comfort,” Meditch says. A two-story beach house overlooking Chesapeake Bay also explores an innovative, modern and sustainable design. “We used no wood, only AAC (autoclaved aerated concrete) insulated block,

which is a highly insulated concrete block that is extensively used in Europe but relatively new in this country,” Meditch says. In order for the client to enjoy the gentle breezes from the shore, a central portion of the home can be opened as a breezeway via 16-foot-wide screens. “The windows were oriented to take advantage of the views, and exterior solar shades for the windows to control the sun,” Murphey says. Reinventing modern architectural styles with new ideas is a pastime for the duo. “We travel to different countries, which can harness a canvass of ideas,” Murphey says. In fact, rooftop dining in Guatemala inspired similar roofing styles for many of their projects. The “white house,” named for its white stucco frame, has an elaborate rooftop garden. The “red house,” featuring red stucco and a hand-tossed beaded frame, is complete with a rooftop patio, kitchenette, vegetable garden, and dumbwaiter. “Based on our communications and conversations with the clients, we give every space a soul that celebrates their lifestyle,” he adds. Even though the team has more than 25 years’ experience, Meditch Murphey Architects are always looking for unique projects where its architects can further develop the technology, Murphey says. “We want to be at the forefront of new design approaches while creating beautiful, sustainable, and affordable architecture.”

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LiteSync Inc. lighting and design UNDER ONE ROOF by Ben Corbett Evolution. Integration. Revolution. If you talk with David Rishor, president of LiteSync Inc., these three words will almost always come into play, and for good reason. They describe the core thrust of Rishor’s business model, which is blazing new paths in the home-construction industry. Technological advances have created new comforts and opened up unlimited possibilities in home electrical systems, and the integration of such systems is a much more complicated process than ever before, bringing with it not only endless and confusing options in products and services but also new challenges in design. “At LiteSync, we start with lighting as the critical function and then sync all other voltage systems from there,” Rishor says. “The list is endless in the kinds of lighting available and what we can do. Even if it’s custom fabrication, we can do it. We know the required lumen outputs and the footcandle levels to make sure everything is correct. 25 or 30 years ago, a home was pretty simple in its approach. There weren’t a lot of complex voltage systems. The kinds of lighting products were pretty basic, and the choices were more limited. Today the lighting and special voltage systems have exploded open.” In the old days, a homeowner or general contractor would simply hire an electrician for a high-end custom homebuilding project. However, with all

the new technology and products that are now available, a number of specialists are needed to complete a project. From designers to low-voltage automation integrators, home security installers, and home-theater and sound specialists, the possibilities are endless. “You can have the most high-end client with a really nice home, but the lighting is lacking and very poor because they didn’t hire a professional lighting designer,” Rishor says. “LiteSync is truly revolutionizing the industry as it relates to the disciplines of lighting power and low-voltage systems. If you look at how the construction industry has evolved, you see this fragmentation of disciplines going out across the board that make it difficult for homeowners, and even builders, to end up with the optimal end product.” Having so many different factions involved in a home’s lighting- and voltage-integration project can lead to inefficiency, glitches in the system, higher expenses, and a lack of quality. With 30 years of experience in the industry, Rishor is Arizona’s only electrical contractor who is also a Certified Lighting Consultant (CLC) with the American Lighting Association. This gives LiteSync a competitive edge. Although many contractors are playing catch-up, farming most of this specialized work out, Rishor is way ahead of the curve with LiteSync’s one-stop shop approach

luxuryhomequarterly.com

Photos: Michael Falconer Photography

Dover Windows and Doors specializes in providing truly unique custom fenestration. Our passion for excellence shows through in attention to detail and custom capabilities.


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Custom Lighting Nestled in the Dove Mountain neighborhood of the beautiful Tortolita Mountains near Tucson, AZ (opposite page), this custom home’s lighting, power, and low-voltage integration systems were designed and installed by LiteSync. The owner had a vision for the kitchen design (above) and needed a luminaire above the island that he could not find through any US manufacturer. So, with LiteSync’s help, this soffit-style luminaire was custom-designed and built to meet his vision perfectly.

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that streamlines all of those specialties under one umbrella. “How LiteSync fits into the future is by offering a more seamless, integrated approach,” Rishor says. “I am passionate about this approach. It’s revolutionary. It’s changing the industry for the better and meeting the needs of the consumer and the builder. There’s just nobody doing it this way. We’re making separate contractors and designers obsolete and ultimately making it so much easier and smarter for the client.” These days price point is crucial, so for LiteSync there’s a constant balancing act between a project’s budget and a homeowner’s desire to have the latest and greatest in lighting and voltage systems. But as Rishor is quick to point out, aesthetics are everything, and one of his biggest missions is to reduce the eyesores—visible wall switches, ugly automated appearances, and accessories—and gear everything toward beautiful, automated touch-screen and keypad controls where homeowners can push a button and control an entire home’s ambiance with one touch. Rishor believes the merging of homebuilding services is key to the art’s success. “The integration of lighting with other subsystems is critical,” says Rishor, who uses the word “sculpt” when he talks about design. “I try to put my signature to every project like a new canvas and a new painting.”

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LiteSync’s Top Tech Favorites

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David Rishor, president of LiteSync, shares his favorites from the latest technologies:

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1. LiteTouch FIVEk Hybrid Technology: “The gold standard in lighting-control solutions has gone wireless. The LiteTouch FIVEk is the most powerful lighting-control CCU on the market today.” litetouch.com 2. The Elan g! new app-style interface: “The new g! control from Elan is an easy-to-use home-automationinterface product.” elanhomesystems.com 3. C  ree LED lighting: “The future of lighting is solid-state LED, and Cree is apparent in the vanguard with state-of-the-art products.” creeledlighting.com 4. G  reenSwitch: “This is a wireless product that replaces existing switches, outlets, and thermostats.” greenswitch.tv

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IN LIGHTING CONTROL

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directory

*advertisers in blue

Professional Services & Organizations ARCHITECTURE Arnn Gordon Greineder, agg-design.com, 54-59 BKSK Architects LLP, bkskarch.com, 134-136 Bruce Roadcap Architecture, bruceroadcap.com, 127-129

Silver Lining Interiors, silverlininginteriors.com, 53-58 Stewart Custom Homes, stewarthomes.com, 112 Tomaro Design Group, tomaro.com, 119-121

Chen + Suchart Studio LLC, chensuchartstudio.com, 5, 10, 64-79 Christopher Rose Architects, christopherrosearchitects.com, 130-131 Dianna Wong Architecture + Design, diannawong.com, 27 Donald Chong Studio, donaldchongstudio.com, 31 & 32

VergĂŠz & Asoc. Constructora, vac.com.do, 163

LIGHTING DESIGN Bevolo Gas Lights, bevolo.com, 125 LiteSync Inc., litesyncinc.com, 156-157 Scofield Historic Lighting, scofieldhistoriclighting.com, 37 & 38 PHOTOGRAPHY

ENGINEERING

Alexo Wandael, wandael.com, 41-42

ECM, Inc., ecm-maui.com, 132

Alvis Upitis, alvisupitis.com, 132-133

Landa & Associates, Inc., landaandassociates.com, 96

Amy Neunsinger, amyneunsinger.com, 162 Bill Timmerman, billtimmerman.com, 10, 64-79 Bob Gundu, 10framehandles.com, 31

EVENTS

Brad Lansill, 60-61, 80-93

Garett Carlson, wgarettcarlson.com, 100-103

ARCC Spring Research Conference, arcc2011.ltu.edu, 18

Cameron Carothers, carothersphoto.com, 120-121

Harris Architects PLLC, harrisarch.com, 122-123

Art Chicago, artchicago.com, 18

Dungan Nequette Architects, dungan-nequette.com, 154

Ian Bradshaw, ianbradshaw.com, 142-143

Hawaii Island Architects, LLC, hiallc.net, 132-133

Electronic House Expo 2011, ehxweb.com, 18

Jacob Termansen, clearlightphotography.com, 110-112

Hilton-VanderHorn Architects, hilton-vanderhorn.com, 138-139

CEA’s 2010 Mark of Excellence Awards, www.ce.org, 17

Jim Westphalen, westphalenphotography.com, 161

Kushner Studios, kushnerstudios.com, 42

KBIS Kitchen & Bath Industry Show 2011, kbis.com, 18

Jonathan Wallen, jonathanwallen.com, 136

Lane Pettigrew Associates, lanepettigrew.com, 145-148

The OKC Home Show, homeshowokc.com, 18 FINANCIAL Guaranteed Rate, guaranteedrate.com, 15

Mithun Architects, mithun.com, 29 Morgante Wilson Architects, morgantewilson.com, 126-127 Murphy/Jahn, murphyjahn.com, 27 Robert Stone Design, robertstonedesign.com, 61-62, 80-94 Selin + Selin Architecture, selinandselin.com, 140-141 Shapiro & Company Architects Inc., shapiroandco.com, 124-125

Phoenix, phoenixcommcorp.com, 127

Paul Dyer, dyerphoto.com, 54-55 Paul Finkel, pistondesign.com, 114-115

INTERIOR DESIGN

Renee Oteri Photography, reneeoteri.com, 35-36

A Shoucair Design, ashoucairdesign.com, 41-42

Tom Arban, tomarban.com, 43

Barbara Gisel Design, bgdltd.com, 38-39 Bulthaup, bulthaup.com, 2-3 clodagh, clodagh.com, 29

Swaback Partners PLLC, swabackpartners.com, 104-105

Design Studio 15, designstudio15.com, 6-7, 162

Village Architects, Inc., villagearchitects.com, 149-150

East Block Studios, eastblockstudios.squarespace.com, 41-42

Webber + Studio, webberstudio.com, 107, 108-112

Francisco Gonzalez-Pulido, 27 Fury Design, furydesigninc.com, 44-48, 164

Bill Gumerson & Associates, bga.bz, 4 Cityscape Builders, city-scape-builders.com, 151 Clearwater Builders, clearwaterbuildersvt.com, 142 Derek Nicholson Inc., dereknicholson.com, 30-31

Tom Crane Photography, tomcranephotography.com, 38 PLUMBING Coydisa Hydrosanitary Works, coydisa.com, 144 Dutchman Plumbing, Inc., dutchmanplumbing.net, 106 REAL ESTATE DEVELOPMENT & MANAGEMENT Optima, optimaweb.com, 95-99

Gail Whiting Design Consultants, designconsultantsnj.com, 143 & 144

REALTY

Garrow Kedigian Interior Design, garrowkedigian.com, 49-53

Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate, bhgrealestate.com, 17

Jane Antonacci Interior Design, janeantonacci.com, 54

Connect Realty, new.connectrealty.com, 16

Wheeler Design Group, wheelerdg.com, 56, 57, 58

Engelman Construction Ltd., 780-434-8880, 34 Holbrook Nichols Construction, holbrook-nichols.com, 123

Ozone Zone Books, ozonezonebooks.com, 145-148 Paul Bardagjy Photography, bardagjyphoto.com, 107, 108-109

Shugart Bates, shugartbates.com, 113-118

CONSTRUCTION & DESIGN-BUILD

Michael Falconer Photography, michaelfalconer.com. 156-157

HOME ENTERTAINMENT, SECURITY, & AUTOMATION

Shim-Sutcliffe Architects, shim-sutcliffe.com, 30

WESKetch Architecture, wesketch.com, 142-143

Matthew Millman, matthewmillman.com, 56-59 Michael Awad, 30

Macy Architecture, macyarchitecture.com, 152-153 Meditch Murphey Architects, meditchmurphey.com, 154-155

John Chew, chewco.com, 39

SPECIALTY Kinetics Systems, Inc., kinetics.net, 96 LMCAD Animation Studios, lmcad.com.do, 148

KITCHENS & BATHS

Nolan Sires Construction, 843-729-6992, 129 Nugent Design Build, nugentdesignbuild.com, 33

Design on Tap, designontap.net, 13

WALL TREATMENTS

Paradise Custom Kitchens, paradisecustomkitchens.com, 40

Jonas Everets Design, jonaseveretsdesign.com, 135 McCaren Designs Inc., greenwalls.com, 160

RJ Dailey Construction Co., rjdailey.com, 59 Rosbeck Builders Corp., rosbeckbuilders.com, 35-36

LANDSCAPE DESIGN

Salcito Custom Homes, Ltd., salcito.com, 106

Enchanted Garden, enchantedgardenaz.com, 96

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Products ACCESSORIES & DÉCOR

Holly Hunt, hollyhunt.com, 51

PLUMBING FIXTURES

Jake Phipps, jakephipps.com, 7 & 26

Hudson Furniture Inc., hudsonfurnitureinc.com, 39

American Standard, americanstandard-us.com, 89

Room For Children, rizzoliusa.com, 160

Knoll, knoll.com, 45

Steamist, steamist.com, 29

Tom Dixon, tomdixon.net, 14

Lorin Marsh, lorinmarsh.com, 46

Twos Company, twoscompany.com, 162

minus tio, minustio.se, 25

Watermark Designs, Ltd., watermark-designs.com, 29

Vanessa Mitrani, vanessamitrani.com, 25

Opinion Ciatti, opinionciatti.com, 20

Velocity Art and Design, velocityartanddesign.com, 45

Poltrona Frau, poltronafrau.com, 46

RETAILERS, DISTRIBUTORS, & SUPPLIERS

Ralph Pucci International, ralphpucci.net, 46

Ferguson Enterprises, Inc., ferguson.com, 32 & 33

Schumacher, fschumacher.com, 162

Room & Board, roomandboard.com, 87

Alessi, alessi.com, 89

ANTIQUES

Smith & Watson, smith-watson.com, 37 & 39

Daniel Scuderi Antiques, Inc., danielscuderi.com, 43

Tansu.Net, tansu.net, 160

Kohler Co., kohler.com, 29

SINKS & TUBS DuPont, www2.dupont.com, 89

ART Andy Warhol, warholprints.com, 162 McClees Gallery, mccleesgalleries.com, 38

GLASS Hyland Studio, hylandstudio.com, 57

STONE & TILE

Texas Mirrors & More, texasmirrors.com, 128

Cooritalia, cooritalia.com, 57 & 59

Richard Long, richardlong.org, 27 HARDWARE BUILDING MATERIALS

SnS Hardware, snshardware.com, 36

Hacienda Stone and Tile, 310-344-6755, 120 Sunset Paving and Masonry, 310-626-6341, 120

Ibstock Brick Limited, ibstock.com, 16

WALLCOVERINGS & PAINT

R.B.H. Insulation, Inc., rbhinsulation.com, 121

Lee Jofa, leejofa.com, 47

CABINETRY Cabaret Cabinetry Inc., cabaretcabinetry.com, 8-9 Columbia Cabinets Northwest, LLC, colcab.com, 118 Fine Lines in Wood, finelinesinwood.com, 141 Sisal Rugs Direct, sisalrugs.com, 48

HOME ENTERTAINMENT & AUTOMATION Elan Home Systems, elanhomesystems.com, 157

Romo, romo.com, 45 Sherwin-Williams, sherwin-williams.com, 162

GreenSwitch, greenswitch.tv, 157

WINDOWS & DOORS

Viking Range Corporation, vikingrange.com, 29

Artistic Doors and Windows, artisticdoorsandwindows.com, 137 & 139

KITCHEN & BATH SYSTEMS

Brothers’ Custom Windows & Doors, Inc., brotherswindows.com, 57 Crittall Windows Ltd., crittall-windows.co.uk, 54 & 57

CARPETS & RUGS

Innovation Works Inc., innovationusa.us, 147 & 148

Böwer, boewer.com, 22

Kitchen Center, Inc., 305-576-5215, 151

Dover Windows and Doors, bellehavenspecialties.net, 156

Fort Street Studio, fortstreetstudio.com, 46

Sub-Zero, Inc., subzero.com, 29

Raydoor, raydoor.com, 40

Kyle Bunting, kylebunting.com, 23

Thermador, thermador.com, 29

nanimarquina, nanimarquina.com, 23

WOODWORK

Ruckstuhl, ruckstuhl.com, 21

Lencioni Construction Company, Inc., lencioniconstruction.com, 55

LIGHTING Ango, angoworld.com, 17

COUNTERTOPS CaesarStone US, caesarstoneus.com, 139

Anthologie Quartett, anthologiequartett.de, 135 Cree LED Lighting, creeledlighting.com, 157

FIREPLACES

Dark, dark.be, 21

Tuscan Resource, tuscanresource.com, 55

Edra, edra.com, 24 Flos, flos.com, 47

FLOORING Senso, senso.com, 16

LiteTouch, litetouch.com, 157 Studio Italia Design, sid-usa.com, 161

Ecoprocote, ecoprocote.com, 162 METALS FURNITURE B&B Italia, bebitalia.it, 45 & 48 Berman Rosetti, bermanrosetti.com, 39 Dennis Miller, dennismiller.com, 46 Domus Design Collection, ddcnyc.com, 46

A.B. Welding, abweldingmfg.com, 57 Murray’s Iron Works, murraysiw.com, 56 Product and Design, Inc., productanddesign.com, 133, 135, 136 Robinson Iron, robinsoniron.com, 125

EM Fine Furniture, Inc., 305-479-0541, 150

Schwartz’s Forge and Metalworks Inc., schwartzsforge.com, 137 & 139

Exit Art, exit-art.com, 162

Verdigris Copperworks, 802-985-5873, 141

MARCH 2011

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products + services spotlight

EcoSmart Fire An environmentally friendly open fireplace, the EcoSmart Fire is an Australian innovation featuring remarkable design flexibility. The EcoSmart burner is fueled by denatured ethanol, which burns clean and is virtually maintenance free—no flue or hard connection are required for installation. Available in a variety of readymade designs, the EcoSmart Fire is also customizable in that it can be installed into any accommodating design.

Tansu.Net The Kobe is a contemporary Balinese platform bed that is handmade in Indonesia from sustainable plantation teak. It features a Java-brown hand finish and has been constructed with mortise-and-tenon joinery for long-lasting durability. Exotic yet simple, the Kobe’s modern, low-profile design features strong lines and angles. Available in Full, Queen, California King, and Standard King sizes. Matching dressers and nightstands are available.

McCaren Designs Inc. With the new Greenwalls Modular Planting Systems, it has never been easier to create a living wall. Designed and engineered for maximum biofiltration of indoor air, thermal regulation, and striking aesthetics, Greenwalls offer a return on investment that can include lowering the heat gain, noise absorption, improved indoor-air quality, reduced occupant stress, and ambiance. Cynthia Peterson or Jennifer Johnson (800) 524-7081 greenwalls.com

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Room For Children: Stylish Spaces for Sleep and Play Room for Children, written by Susanna Salk with a foreword by Kelly Wearstler, is the first book to present excellent design for children’s rooms. These unique spaces created by well-known designers, parents, and often even the kids themselves, prove that children’s rooms are worthy of serious design attention. rizzoliusa.com

luxuryhomequarterly.com

kirwin horticultural services, llc Photo : shannon brotherton

Ben Harvey (866) 878-3325 info@tansu.net, tansu.net

(310) 914-3335 ecosmartfire.com


Special Advertising Section

Kohler

New England based photographer, Jim Westphalen specializes in interiors and architecture. His images appear regularly in such fine shelter publications as Design New England, New England Home, Better Homes and Gardens, Custom Home and Fine Home Building as well as dozens of home and garden books.

Contrary to traditional handshowers that feature a single sprayface, the revolutionary Flipside handshower features Kohler’s innovative Flipstream technology, where the sprayface rotates on an axis, offering four sides—each with a different spray option. The Flipside handshower is available in three design options, and two finish options (depending on the design chosen). Photo:© Kohler Co. Used with permission.

jim@jimwestphalen.com westphalenphotography.com

(800) 4-KOHLER kohler.com

Jim Westphalen

products+ services spotlight The Spotlight is Designed To:

showcase the top trends, innovations, and amenities

connect LHQ readers—elite

©2010_westphalen_photography

custom-home builders, contractors, architects, interior designers, landscapers, and more—with high-quality products and services for their luxury-home projects

provide

a resource for LHQ readers to use when presenting project ideas to clients Formatted 1/3- or 1/6-page four-color ads are available. To learn more, contact: Titus Dawson Director of Sales (312) 256-8462 titus@bgandh.com

Studio Italia Design The UFO chandelier by Brian Rasmussen for Studio Italia Design features a curvaceous and sculptural shape and customizable finishes. Providing the ideal amount of diffused lighting, the UFO is available in gold, silver, or white acrylic, with the option of semicovering colors in red, white, green, and dark blue. One can create his or her own distinct pendant by combining any or all of the available colors. David Weisinger (305) 621-9602 sid-usa.com

MARCH 2011

luxury home quarterly

161


At home with

Home in downtown orlando, fl Lived there 3 years

Shanna Bender Acclaimed designer Shanna Bender, founder of Design Studio 15 in Orlando, invited LHQ into her home to share some secrets to creating a funky, functional home office.

LHQ: Thanks for showing us your home! What makes this home office a place you want to work?

SB: When designing my home office, it was important to me that the space emanate a sense of fun, creativity, tranquilly, functionality, and a healthy environment for my talented staff and wonderful clients. I think I achieved that objective by using pops of color through strategically placed art and accents, lots of windows, open work spaces, ample storage, and the incorporation of many eco-sensitive materials throughout the space.

LHQ: How would you describe the design of your home office? What inspired it? SB: The interior design is modern with an unexpected twist of pop culture. I initially sketched the design on a napkin while on a train to New York City. I kept that napkin for a couple of years, drew it up in CAD, and then started organically making the selections come to life. The interior developed from my love of pop culture, music, and art. I feel that a creative interior encourages endless design possibilities. LHQ: How does your home office help you serve your clients?

SB: I purposely designed the office with versatile open spaces to work in so we can pull fabrics and finishes, lay out plans, and conduct meetings. In addition, I think it is helpful for them to experience something I personally designed and implemented from the ground up. My clients come away with a clear sense of my attention to detail and my passion for creating fun, unique environments that are highly functional. LHQ: What is your favorite place in the space? SB: I would say my favorite place is the main room with its open space, the grand piano, and 23 wonderful windows. I designed it to invite a flood of light into the space, accenting the volume to create a feeling of openness, and the light fixture is the “wow� piece that gives the space drama.

The Pieces Mademoiselle Chair: Exit Art, exit-art.com Flooring: SoyCrete Architectural Concrete Stain, from Ecoprocote, ecoprocote.com

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MARCH 2011

Chandelier: Lightstyle of Orlando, lightstyleoforlando.com

Custom Pillow: Trina Turk for Schumacher, fschumacher.com

Owl vase: Twos Company, twoscompany.com

Paint: SherwinWilliams, sw7072, sherwin-williams.com

Monroe print: Screen-printed reproduction on white paper, warholprints.com

luxuryhomequarterly.com


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LuxuryHome.FURY:Layout 1 9/13/10 12:35 PM Page 2

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Luxury Home Quarterly Issue 7  

American Desert Homes

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