2017 Palladio Awards
Winner: Ferguson & Shamamian
The main house comprises 12,000 square feet; the guest house is 3,400 square feet. Completed in 2013, its restoration and renovation by Ferguson & Shamamian was sensitive to the house’s importance in Southampton’s history—the historic continuum of the property factored heavily into the design program. “Our man- date was to change everything but to change nothing—to put the house in good condition and to expand it to meet our client’s needs, but above all, to do no harm,” explains Mark Ferguson, partner at Ferguson & Shamamian Architects.
To that end, two previous additions were removed to bring the house back to its original configuration. The existing main house underwent a renovation, the library was rebuilt, and a family wing was added.
Additionally, the original carriage house—once staff quarters—was turned into a guest cottage.
To reorient the driveway away from the neighboring property, the entire main house was lifted, moved, and set on a new foundation and basement—which included room for the new wing—12 feet from the property line.
All exterior trim was designed and remade to match the original. Likewise, original windows were restored and new windows for the addition replicated the originals. Additionally, new cedar shingles replaced the old on both the roof and exterior walls.
All of the interiors were either restored or rebuilt.
The main block’s full renovation kept the living room, dining room, entry foyer, and stair hall in their existing locations, and all have been restored. A new family room and kitchen on the first floor were added, as were the three bedrooms on the second floor.
Newly introduced elements that recognize the family’s modern-day lifestyle include the “snack bar” on the exterior of the cottage, which sits adjacent to the pool. “We were asked to balance, blend, and weave together competing goals—to preserve the property while modernizing it, to adapt an old building to new ways of living, and to replace outdated creature comforts with state- of-the-art technology and products,” explains Ferguson.
The cottage itself, it was revealed during construction, did not have a foundation. It, too, was lifted to lay a new foundation and basement. It now houses a family room and kitchen on the first floor and three bedrooms on the second floor—one of which once served as a hay loft.
Given that the primary challenge was to completely renovate the house while making it seem as if it had always been there, its success lies with the fact that it is impossible to tell where the old house ends and the new addition begins. “Our client was careful not to over-restore the property,” notes Ferguson. “ The presence of another age is apparent—it has not been erased. Sags and bumps in the floors were leveled, but not to perfection. Windows were repaired, not replaced. It is a house that has been cherished over generations.”