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  Glacier Blue® Architectural Topics & News     
          Monthly Newsletter
April 2011
In This Issue


Topic of the Month: Space, Angles and Views in Upstate New York

Architectural Firm of the Month: Rodriguez Studio

Helpful Links for Architects     

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Devonian pool MAWelcome to the April issue of our newsletter! In each issue we present you with informative articles about the various projects architects and designers are working on around the country. If you have a project you would like to share with us, please contact us and tell us about it. If chosen, we will feature your project in one of our upcoming issues of this newsletter, which goes out to architects and building industry professionals across the country. Click here to find out more about us, or visit us on our Facebook Fan Page.

Architectural Firm of the Month: Rodriguez Studio

Rodriguez Architect 1 In 2004, Carlos M. Rodríguez Infanzón founded Rodríguez Studio to focus on projects in which his clients' perspectives and lifestyles are integrated and celebrated by design. Collaboration and interaction are central themes in the studio: the collaboration between client, architect, and the project team; and the interaction of materials, site, and experience.

 Rodríguez Studio is a widely published firm with offices in NYC and San Juan, Puerto Rico. The firm's work includes adaptive re-use of buildings and spaces, particularly in the residential and retail sectors, and its theoretical work includes high performance ground up homes, public works, and master planning.

As the founder of Rodríguez Studio, Mr. Rodríguez oversees the design of the studio's projects. Mr. Rodriguez was named to New York Spaces magazine's "10 Designers under 40 to Watch" and his work was featured in "El Nuevo Dia" in the home section of Puerto Rico's largest circulation daily newspaper. He has been an adjunct professor at the New York Institute of Technology School of Architecture, a guest critic at Pratt Institute, and a guest lecturer at Cornell University. Mr. Rodríguez's work is featured in the April 2009 issue of Architectural Record Magazine.   

Rodríguez Studio is a member of the U.S. Green Building Council and is currently undertaking the LEED Platinum Certification of a Showroom/Office and manufacturing facility in Lausanne, Switzerland. It is also a member of the AIA New Practices Commitee.

For more information visit:

Topic of the Month: Space, Angles and Views in Upstate New York 

Rodriguez 3Photograph Courtesy Zach DeSart
In the vast rolling landscape in Croton-on-Hudson, NY, sits a 4,400 square foot house in the process of a grand transformation. Architect Carlos Rodríguez Infanzón has created a design that embodies rectilinear harmony in its entirety, with its multi-level horizontal planes and juxtaposition of geometric shapes that compose both the interior and exterior of the structure. This is the Reservoir Viewfinder House and Phase I, the kitchen area of the home, has been completed.

Rodríguez explains, "The first part of the process was to enlarge the kitchen and to create a small addition in the back, which is also part of the kitchen." Rodríguez took what was a very bland, conventional white kitchen and remodeled the space by adding color, texture and form. "Everything was much narrower and much more monochrome. There was some wallpaper, a lot of wood paneling, and it wasn't particularly nice. It was a decent size but it just didn't look very modern."

The custom designed cabinetry with its angular forms and insets that hold books and other objects are just one of the elements in the kitchen that help to create a truly unique space. Rodríguez explains, "That was part of the idea to have overlapping trays that are jagged shapes which are overlaid so everything goes in and out and plays off of those angles. The materials we used were very important. We used bamboo plywood, cement board, cork floors, exposed steel, as well as tile and some manmade solid surface material. There was a certain industrial feeling that the owner wanted. He's into machinery, so he liked the idea of using exposed steel." The ingenuity of the design allowed the space to open up to spectacular views of the surrounding area.

The views from the house, as well as the wooded and private nature of the site, were the guides for the design and layout. "It's an interesting project because the house overlooks the Croton Reservoir and the view will never be developed. The owner is very much an enthusiast of fossils and old machinery, so we used that as a generative tool to create the overall design of the house. The idea was to almost treat the existing house as if it were an archaeological dig where we cut different layers out of the hillside and then study that area. We worked with some existing levels that were there, and made other levels more pronounced. Then we worked in the more jagged geometry and more slanted geometry that is really symbolic of actual fossils being pulled out of the ground. They're never in a square frame, they are always a jagged piece of rock, so we used that to generate what we were doing, which was changing the very rectilinear envelope of the house. It opened up the house to views and ultimately fit the program in different ways. It does help to create a much nicer master bedroom with a big terrace on the second floor and a much larger terrace on the first floor which includes a green roof and a lap pool on the lower level tucked in behind the house."

"The house has three floors altogether and part of our concept was to connect the first and second floor, and the first and the lower floor by two atriums that sort of happened, one toward the front of the house, one toward the back of the house. The one toward the back of the house also opens up a larger percentage of the house to views, none of which is built yet. The atrium in the front allows a lot of light in, and there's already a precedent for an open space in the front so we're just going to make it a lot bigger and a lot more interesting. Then we're also going to transform the open space in the front by using translucent panels that will help the light come into the bedroom as well."

"It's a nice house and it was tailored specifically to our client, who plans to eventually add a swimming pool, reconfigure the roof and really do some major surgery. This project gave us the opportunity to redesign an entire house, which in many ways is a lot more difficult than designing a house from the start. It gave us a chance to experiment with some very unusual millwork and different shapes in our design. I think it's a great sort of impact site and we're trying to do environmentally sustainable work and really push the boundaries in both of those arenas, so we're happy that we're able to do it."

Helpful Links for Architects

AIA Interior Architecture Knowledge Community
The AIA Interior Architecture Knowledge Community provides leadership and expertise to practitioners of interior architecture and design, working cooperatively with its members and other interiors organizations to address relevant, timely practice issues, markets, and trends, such as licensing, liability, environmental, and technological considerations. Through the Interior Architecture Knowledge Community, important links are maintained with allied professionals, service providers, and manufacturers. If you wish to become a member of the AIA Interior Architecture Knowledge Community, call AIA Member Services at 800-242-3837, or visit:

Architect Online's Continuing Education Center

Architect Online's Online Continuing Education Center gives professionals a convenient way to earn necessary continuing education credits without having to set foot in a classroom. The courses listed, sponsored by the companies noted, are accessible from anywhere you can establish an online connection. Just register, read the required material, and then take the test, either through a downloadable mail-in form, or free via a secure online connection, depending on the course. You'll be able to maintain your professional credentials, at your pace, and at a location that works for you. Visit:

Architectural Record Continuing Education Center
Architectural Record magazine has a free Continuing Education Center where architects can earn AIA Continuing Education Credits online. Visit:

Architectural Record Discussion Forums

The McGraw Hill Construction Community, publisher of Architectural Record, has provided architects with a forum to express ideas, opinions, suggestions, and gripes. The discussion forums are open to all, and include topics such as Green Building Projects, Virtual Design, Practice Matters and a forum for younger architects. Visit:

CORA - Congress of Residential Architecture
CORA is a grass root organization that encourages our members to participate in the dialog of improving residential architecture in a way that suits them best. The purpose of the CORA is to provide a continuing forum for advocating and enhancing residential architecture by all individuals, both professionals and non-professionals, that share a common interest in improving the quality of the homes and communities we live in. Visit:

The Green Meeting Industry Council

The Green Meeting Industry Council (GMIC) is a non profit 501(c)(6) membership-based organization. Their goal is to encourage collaboration within the meetings industry toward the development of green standards that will improve the environmental performance of meetings and events on a global basis. The GMIC is the only professional green meetings organization that is a member of the Convention Industry Council. For more information visit:

The World Architecture Community
The World Architecture Community invites all architects to create a free profile on their website. The World Architecture Portal is a unique comprehensive international directory and catalog of contemporary architecture where all architects, scholars and institutions may submit their work and links to share with colleagues from around the world.
For more information visit:

We hope you enjoyed our informative monthly e-newsletter. For questions, comments or more information, please e-mail or call us today.



Liz Benton, Editor 
Glacier Blue® Architectural Topics & News
Devonian Stone of New York, Inc.

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