JANUARY 2011 » feature


Palladio Through the Years

This year, the Palladio Awards program celebrates 10 years of recognizing outstanding achievement in traditional design. In anticipation of that, Period Homes takes a look back at just a few of the residential projects that have been honored since the program's inception in 2002. A complete list of winners, as well as information on entering next year's program, can be found at www.palladioawards.com.

Photo: courtesy of Historical Concepts, Inc.

2002: Historical Concepts
Known for their sensibility for the past, Historical Concepts of Peachtree City, Ga. – led by President James Strickland – combined vernacular styles and classical proportions with functional interior amenities for their work on a long-forgotten farmhouse. Originally constructed in 1914, the Langford House was uninhabitable when discovered by the current owner. Practically falling down, the structure was moved from its original site to rest on a 1,000-acre coastal hunting preserve near Hilton Head, SC. Several recently constructed ancillary buildings (also designed by Historical Concepts) – a boathouse, a cane mill, and a series of one-bedroom guesthouses – are reminiscent of an old village, and were designed to appear as if from the same era as the farmhouse. It was the owner's intent to add a main structure that would lend historical authenticity to the compound and serve as the "main house" for his family and guests. – Marieke Gartner



Photo: Lawrence S. Williams, Inc.

2003: Peter Zimmerman Architects
Pennsylvania-based Peter Zimmerman Architects was commissioned to renovate a garage for a residence in St. David's, PA, but the garage stuck out against the 94-year-old building like a sore thumb. Instead, the firm ended up demolishing the garage and building a new, freestanding one, along with a breezeway, terrace and courtyard. The goal of the project was to seamlessly integrate the additions with the existing fieldstone house, and to renovate its porch in keeping with the 1907 style. The original garage, built in the 1950s, was architecturally inappropriate, made of stucco on block with an asphalt shingle roof that didn't match the house's older style. The garage blocked two arched stone openings on the porch, therefore limiting the amount of sunlight hitting it and would have blocked a second-story window if the roof pitch had been raised to match that of the house. Peter Zimmerman Architects decided that the best thing to do was to demolish and rebuild the garage. The addition included the garage and a glass breezeway (1,260 sq.ft.), a 1,600-sq.ft. cobblestone courtyard and a 960-sq.ft. terrace. – Marieke Gartner



Photo: courtesy of Eric Watson Architect, P.A.

2004: Eric Watson Architect, P.A.
Overlooking the Gulf of Mexico, a residence influenced by the grand plantation houses of the Caribbean sits in the New Urbanist resort town of Rosemary Beach, FL. Minimally ornamented on the exterior, the Malugen House fits perfectly with its neighbors, while making a unique statement through a subtle mix of color and texture from its white stucco walls and dark stained timberwork.

The $1.2 million, 5,976-sq.ft. house, completed in January 2002, was constructed "to withstand the ferocious Gulf Coast hurricanes with concrete-reinforced masonry block walls and wood truss roof and floor framing," explains architect Eric Watson. The house features four formed-concrete gable parapets crowned with spherical cast-concrete finials, timber porches, tall wood sash windows and mahogany French doors and shutters. – Marieke Gartner



Photo: Robert Benson

2005: Albert, Righter & Tittmann Architects, Inc.
The Greek Revival style has been an important part of the architecture of Concord, MA, for more than 150 years. Honoring this heritage, Boston, MA-based Albert, Righter & Tittmann Architects, Inc., built a house there that reflects the range of possibilities that the style offers.

"The client was keen on picking up on New England's visible Greek Revival traditions," says John Tittmann, principal in charge. "At the same time, we were trying to do something very nontraditional, creating a composition that you can't find in any book – we wanted to form a collage, exploring how far the language could be stretched in one composition and expanding the edges of that composition."

At 6,200 sq.ft., the house, which has six bedrooms, four-and-a-half baths and an attached two-car garage, could have been overwhelming. "But the client was interested in a domestic, not a regal, scale," says Tittmann. To maintain a human scale, the architects composed a series of pavilions, rather than one large mass. – Marieke Gartner



Photo: Bob Narod

2006: David Jones Architects
In Chevy Chase, MD, an area predominated by Colonial Revival- and Tudor-style houses, David Jones Architects of Washington, DC, designed a large but restrained house that fits in with the neighborhood. The 7,500-sq.ft. brick and slate structure is in an informal English style and offers sizeable family and entertaining spaces.

"As is always the case with a new residence in an existing neighborhood, the challenge was to create a house that would be both original and distinctive, yet one that would fit comfortably with its neighbors," explains David Jones, principal with the firm. "Although this particular style isn't found in the neighborhood, it is complementary mainly because of the extensive use of brick." In addition, dark-painted wood casement windows emulate the painted-steel casements found on many of the original neighboring houses. – Marieke Gartner



Photo: Tom Crane

2007: Archer & Buchanan Architecture, Ltd.
For fans, Tolkien was the ultimate escapist – a creator of new worlds and languages. But when an avid collector of Tolkien memorabilia called upon Archer & Buchanan Architecture, Ltd., of West Chester, PA, to design a museum for his collection, the firm made the fantasy a 600-sq.ft. reality.

Back in 2004, Archer & Buchanan was working on the client's study – the latest of several projects, spanning 15 years, that the firm had been hired to design at the Chester County, PA, property. It was there that the client displayed and archived his extensive collection of memorabilia, which includes books, manuscripts and artifacts. When the collection outgrew its surroundings, the client made an unusual request. "He called one day and said that he would like to create a space for the collection somewhere on the property," explains firm principal Peter Archer, AIA. "He wanted to separate it from the house, so that he could experience his collection in an environment conducive to the spirit of Tolkien's great works." – Lynne Lavelle



Photo: Scott Frances

2008: Ferguson & Shamamian Architects, LLP
When the cottage was purchased in 1998, the new owner approached New York City-based Ferguson & Shamamian Architects, LLP, to remove the addition and replace it with a more substantial structure. The mandate from the owner was clear – the addition was to follow the precedents of the existing structure inside and out. The result more than doubled its square footage and, in essence, elevated it from a subservient building into a midsize family house in its own right.

The addition comprises an informal room, kitchen and breakfast room, back stair, two additional bedrooms and three new bathrooms in a two-story wing. Renovations to the original building include the master bedroom and bath. A new pool, freestanding stone walls and a porch with a stone fireplace, plus a renovated gamecock house (now a dining pavilion), complete the composition. – Lynne Lavelle



Photo: Marion Brenner

2009: James Doyle Design Associates, LLC
After sitting vacant for a number of years, the estate was purchased in 1959. The new owners failed to adequately maintain the property; by the time it was purchased by the current owners in 1994, the original grounds had been reduced to a few neglected gardens and poorly maintained hardscaping. That year, the clients hired Greenwich-based James Doyle Design Associates to re-imagine the landscaping while respecting the history of the property. And after a decade of planning and execution, the gardens and landscaping of Old Mill Farm have been recognized with a 2009 Palladio Award.

Principal James Doyle began by seeking out information on the history of the estate. "We hired an architectural historian and were able to find all the architectural drawings of the house, but couldn't find any information on the gardens," says Doyle. "So we had to interpret what we thought was correct. We agreed that the landscape would have to be appropriate to the English-style home, so the gardens were to be formal and English in style." – Will Holloway



Photo: Hester & Hardaway

2010: Michael G. Imber Architects
When a young family with strong ties to the Lone Star State – in particular the Medina River Valley in south central Texas – was looking to expand an original 1940s bunkhouse, they hired San Antonio-based Michael G. Imber Architects. Known as the J. H. Autry Ranch, the house was built by a New York set designer near what was once the home of the famous Texas rancher Big Foot Wallace. "The Medina River Valley is full of dude ranches – there is a real collection of them in this area," says Michael Imber, whose own father worked on a ranch as a young man.

In 1949, the local mason Hough Le Storgeon built an addition to the property, the Rock Ranch house, which is known for its distinctive stonework. Imber was commissioned to create a new 4,376-sq.ft. addition, which ultimately doubled the size of the existing buildings. First and foremost, Imber's aim was to respect the original buildings in terms of scale and placement so that any additions would appear seamless. – Nancy E. Berry

 

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