NEW OLD HOUSE Old-House Journal’s
Building Character in Today’s Homes
Back to Basics
Simple Porch Appeal Healthy-House Design Classic Federal Farmhouse
Contents 28 Fairfield Federal
By M ary G rauerholz Architect Peter Zimmerman designs a Colonial-era inspired farmhouse in Connecticut, using examples from the area’s past.
36 Casa de la Torre
By Janice Randall Rohlf Architect Thomas Bollay meticulously crafts an authentic Spanish Colonial house in California’s Montecito foothills.
Spring | Summer 2011
46 Gulf Coast Simple
By Susan Nettleton A renovated French Creole cottage in Florida offers the best of relaxed, pared down living.
54 Healthy Farmhouse
By N ancy E. Berry Patrick Farley of Watershed Architects listens to the land and his client to create a home that is both sustainable and good for body and soul.
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Back to Basics
s t n e t n Co
T imeless, sustainable, practical, healthy, simple, and comfortable are a few words used to describe trends in today’s home designs. O ver the past recession-filled By Michael Weish years, we’ve put our home projects on saci turbuVereconomic ell the ussthat hold, B but now yR ic h a e l W e is h a M s p lo re exfocus c i to lence R is u calming, on e rsaable sse ll Vwe’re m e ri c a n ga rd e A le creating better living environments for b a a ff o rd o f th e We’ve o tsourselves. o w n a rt is tr y th e roand is h our families had e b y hom le d look, -s tyhomes a ll your time to it ioonnhow a dlect trref d esi g n . . feel, and function. We’re steering away ls R o y a l B a rr y W il from the cavernous living room that no one ever visits, the soulless dining room where no one ever eats, and the inoperrc h it e c t Sa n d r A able two-story Palladian perrywith no er Swindow if n en a few o f J s y B re a sh real views to enjoy. , d e n a ll y -i nsp ir d itaiothoughtful, g tr atake w e ll -c ra g in N ew A doldd inhouses d d a in d o ws to n twewlive— holistic eapproach to ff the way ic ie o ld h ou w n e rgy -e e n to n a creating spaces that arehgood e as ie r th o useforismind, ld o w e n a body, soul—and the environment. N ewfu l o f d a h a nthat a n ks to spaces old rooms comfortable r th ev eare y. to d aconconnect family tu re rsQ uality fa cfriends. g ga te uand n n inadvana m A wtointake struction trumps excessive square footage, and designed beautifully C h ic ago ’s J fo r climate—both and eco-conscious principles are put into tage of C alifornia’s warm practice more and more to protect our protecting the interiors from the hot sun environment as well aslour health. through deep eaves and white stucco extenhiser Kor re u a L y B C reating a house based on theser ideas e w isas well as offering courtyardsc t a Lwalls L in drior e care, D esibutg nwith o rorder, h it e tearitall a rcspaces eliving can soundIn like h and balconies to extendTthe s e c a p h 51in0 Soutdoors. s w itteam good planning, o raatestrong sp e o p le w c o ll a band ft ra c r e h place, homes can ref lectaall these by us lo c k in A farmhouse in V irginiatudesigned e cideals. kof th c b o h rn d tu re to a fe W hether you’re building new, renovat- a n Patrick Farley of Watershed A rchitects g in le g , n a brings the idea of the sustainable, healthy it c h eadding d ksimply a teor ing an older home, o u td o m eto’s a whole new level. H omeowner r h house e h m screened porch consider bringing these o fr n o ti a ir sp in words to life to create a home t. that works Morgan Bartolini wanted to create a house a l p aslifestyle. h is to ri ccentury a ns H for your twenty-first that fit well in its rural countryside T h e Hsetting. In this issue we feature architect Peter She also wanted the home to be “healthy” L a ncast er C o Z immerman’s design of a Federal style for her and her family. Farley and Bartolini house in C onnecticut based on the ew state’s ock collaborated to design a place that was p S . T en h p te By S past. Builder T imothy rural and cultural eco-conscious and pushes the limits of the c ti n e th u A f o ss u H ine brought l K ra to life in healthy house concept. T he home ref lects ic h a erenderings MPeter’s n ia l-design traditions and offers a o loregion’s a home that is handsome, h well d c ra ftands Cthe a ncrafted, s n g si e D timeless. comfortable, n g– contemporary open plan that ti h g li n o ti c u d ro p re Bollay also looked works for Bartolini’s family. A rchitect e raTom E n g la n dWe’s hope this issue of New Old House to the past ptoe rf create asar de N elawTorre e c t Cfo in Montecito, C alifornia. T he home re . you get back to basics when tackling h it eisc tuhelps rc a r la u c a rn e v a breathtaking example of an authentic your own design projects this spring. Spanish C olonial. Bollay took cues from an existing historical farmhouse in Spain Nancy E. Berry for his inspiration. T he house is well built Editor
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On our cover:
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Crane. Cover photo by Tom merman Architect Peter Zim y Hine bring and builder Timoth to life in a Federal farmhouse Connecticut.
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6 Old-House Journal’s New Old House
True Value Blending tech and tradition in new old windows. by jennifer sperry When it comes to windows, it is possible to have it all: energy efficiency, customization, longevity, aesthetics, and historic appropriateness. But because windows range in size and application, are informed by a spectrum of architectural styles, and have to contend with nature’s destructive forces and climate zones, there isn’t one clear choice in determining design and construction. Experienced architects and contractors can guide a homeowner’s decisionmaking; however, upfront research helps unearth personal priorities. Whether the concern is efficiency, architectural accuracy, or environmental impact, information exchanges with industry professionals are extremely valuable. The following topics explore exactly where technology is taking windows, and the impact on traditional craftsmanship along the way.
Architect Peter Zimmerman and builder Tim Hine worked with Norwood to create the windows for this Colonial house in Connecticut.
What’s New The major problem with windows and heated/cooled interior environments is thermal transference. Glass transfers heat to the outdoors like a mug wicks heat away from freshly poured coffee; likewise, the flow reverses in warm climates. To combat energy loss, window manufacturers have introduced double and triple glazing. Air spaces in between the panes lend insulating properties. In general, a double configuration is at least twice as energy efficient as single glazing. Triple glazing is roughly three times as efficient, but is also thick and heavy, traits that, on the whole, eliminate it from historic or new old house consideration. One design detail that affects both aesthetics and performance is the edge spacer, an engineered element that holds glazing layers apart. Traditionally, spac-
ers have been crafted of aluminum, but because of the metal’s conductive property, aluminum spacers transfer a fraction of the heat generated by insulation outside. In cooler temperatures, they can even lead to condensation buildup along a window’s bottom interior edge. The latest fix to these drawbacks is warm-edge spacers, designed to interrupt the heat transfer pathway at the glazing edge, improving a window’s U-factor (rate of heat loss). On top of increased insulation, manufacturers are now offering low-emittance (low-E) coatings, virtually invisible metal or metallic oxide layers that suppress radiative heat flow. The type and placement of low-E coatings depend on climate and house design. For example, a low-E coating that allows for high solar gains is best for colder climates and homes that rely on passive solar heat.
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Glazing and insulation are only as good as the wood sash around them. In 2003, Jeld-Wen unveiled AuraLast Wood, a trademarked system that protects against wood rot, water saturation, and termites. It treats wood completely through, unlike a dip treatment’s surface-deep protection, which can be compromised during installation. “AuraLast is colorless, odorless, waterbased, and releases 96-percent fewer volatile organic compounds during manufacturing than traditional treatment methods,” says Jeld-Wen’s Brian Hedlund.
The detailing on the Norwood window designed by Zimmerman reflects classical elements, with its pediment and reed trim.
S p ri n g | S u m m e r 2 0 1 1
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Architect Peter Zimmerman designs a home that fits perfectly into its pastoral Connecticut setting. by mary grauerholz | photos by tom crane
Spring | Summer 2011
Peter Zimmerman took cues from the site’s original structure to design this new old Federal. Builder Tim Hine realized Zimmerman’s vision.
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Before Peter Z immerman began designing the clapboard house on a pastoral lane in Fairfield, C onnecticut, he listened to his clients—and then he listened to the land. T he cultural and historical roots of the setting spoke volumes to Z immerman about how he and his team would use proportion, scale, and balance to create the finished home. “ T he house needed to look as if it was absolutely in sync with the site. T he environment talked to us,” says Z immerman, principal of Peter Z immerman A rchitects in Berwyn, Pennsylvania. O riginally Z immerman and his clients, a family with two teenaged children, intended to salvage what Z immerman calls “an old quasi- G eorgian Federal-style house” that occupied part of the new home’s footprint. “ M y original inclination was to save it and add on, but it wasn’t salvageable,” Z immerman says. “It had been tremendously compromised over the years.” T he new house, constructed by T imothy H ine of H ine Builders in Southport, fits seamlessly with the original vernacular. T his is important, Z immerman says, especially because the original was well known in the local community. “ O ur intention was that people who know the area would see the new house and believe it was renovated and added onto,” he says. “ T he memory of the original home and property has remained.” H e and project architect Bill Johnson started by placing two central masses perpendicular to the street, then adding two additions parallel to the street. Smaller additions were added to the side and rear, suggesting a progression of growth over time. T his harks to many houses of the late 1800s and early 1900s, when homeowners “grew” their houses as they attained more wealth or had more children. Z immerman explains, “ We really wanted it to feel like it had grown organically on the site.” H e succeeded, and beautifully. At first glance, it’s difficult to believe the stately house, with a stunning red barn in back, is new. Several factors create the illusion: lines that perfectly recall the original’s G eorgian- Federal spirit, the careful detail and craftsmanship, and the use of antique and salvaged materials, including white oak f looring that possesses a very tight grain and what Z immerman calls “that original patina that only comes with age.” Just as the homes of Fairfield’s earlier residents expanded to serve growing families, Z immerman realized this home needed to serve his clients and their young teens. “A lthough we create houses that are clearly tied to the past,” he says, “they also have to translate to today’s lifestyle.” T he home accomplishes this by presenting two areas, one segueing gently into the next. T he front portion of the home holds
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Opposite, top: The bracket detailing on the stairs was hand-cut by Hine. Opposite, bottom: The mantelpiece has integrated cabinetry and narrow shelving on both sides. Different fire brick was used for each of the 6 fireplaces in the home. Above: The front doorâ€™s sidelights are made of antique glass. The door hardware is reproduction unlacquered brass. Left: The center island was inspired by the one at The Breakers in Newport, Rhode Island.
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Left, top: Pennsylvania bluestone was used on the front porch steps. Left, bottom: Hine built the porch out of mahogany. All the columns are wood.
the more formal spaces: living room, dining room, study, and—on the second floor—the master bedroom suite. Porches are positioned on either side. The more relaxed areas, including the kitchen and family dining area, are toward the back, with the pantry and back stairs in between. The interior details bolster the subtle move from formality to casual living. The front of the home has rich architectural details: crown molding, pilasters, wainscoting, meticulous dentil work, and half-round dormer windows. Moving toward the back of the house, says Zimmerman, “many of those architectural details peel away and become more simplistic in nature.” In the family area, rooms are smaller in scale and less elaborate. Door jambs become flat, crown moldings are simplified, and wainscoting is absent. “In the back, scale and massing step down on both the exterior and interior,” Zimmerman says. 32 Old-House Journal’s New Old House
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Above: Hine sided the house in 3⁄4" beaded, clear cedar clapboard. The lead-coated copper collector boxes were built onsite. Right, top: The stone veneer on the steps was salvaged from the original house. Right, bottom: The mahogany porch flooring was hand-sanded.
The owners both love to cook, and the kitchen, Zimmerman says, is “the hub of family living.” Light floods the room from three sides, as it does in the living room, family room, and dining area. The correct balance of light was foremost on Zimmerman’s mind from the beginning of the project and is used to best advantage, both for its pleasing visual effect and its way of expanding space. Every hallway in the house, for instance, ends in a window. “If you can bring in enough natural light, the whole space becomes transparent,” Zimmerman says. “The eye doesn’t have to readjust. Light just flows through the spaces.” One of the most impressive of Zimmerman’s effects is in the striking staircase at the front entry that ascends to the second floor. Every detail is exquisite: a strong balustrade, a perfectly carved flute on the railing’s turnout, and wooden brackets underneath each step. In another area of the house, on an exterior corner, is a downspout and scupSpring | Summer 2011
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Left: Reclaimed brick pavers for the driveway were salvaged from Yankee Stadium. Reclaimed wood and antique glass were used for all the barn doors. Above: A handmade copper cow weathervane tops the barn.
per, framed by a formal pilaster and dentil molding—all the pieces assembled in a coherent manner. T he land suggests the same gentle segue. Formal gardens grace the front of the house; toward the back of the property are plots filled with herbs and cutting f lowers. Further back still is an enormous vegetable garden, one of the owners’ favorite places. T he property and its setting captured Z immerman from the inception of the project. As he talks about the gently rolling terrain and majestic hardwood trees, Z immerman says that if he had not become an architect, he would be a land conservationist. Both his parents were ardent conservationists, and he was raised to believe in its primary importance. A nd in many ways, Z immerman’s work is more at the intersection of architecture and conservation than straight down the path of architectural design. “ O ne might think my career is based on building; it’s really not,” Z immerman says. “ M ost houses are built to last about 30 years. O ur structures are built to last 100 years. I n 100 years, they’ll be renovated, not torn down.” NOH Mary Grauerholz is a freelance writer. For Resources, see page 68. Reprinted with permission from New Old House Spring/Summer 2011. ©2011 Home Buyer Publications, Chantilly, Virginia, 800-826-3893. Spring | Summer 2011
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www.TimHine.com 203 255 5508 Southport . Connecticut