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  Glacier Blue® Architectural Topics & News     
          Monthly Newsletter
January 2012
In This Issue


Topic of the Month: An English Tudor Home on Long Island

Architectural Firm of the Month: Smiros + Smiros

Helpful Links for Architects     

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Devonian Stone curved staircase CAHappy New Year and welcome to the January 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 there is a project you would like to share with us, please feel free to contact us and tell us about it. If you are chosen, we will feature your project in one of our upcoming issues of this newsletter, and highlight your firm as well. Click here to find out more about us!

Architectural Firm of the Month: Smiros + Smiros
Smiros 3At Smiros + Smiros Architects, we recognize that even the most avant garde contemporary architecture is not created in a vacuum. It is rooted in-and often reacts against-timeless ideals of classical proportion and balance, an integrity of materials and a respect for the beauty and craftsmanship of fine detail. These precedents date to antiquity, and they have survived millennia for good reason.

Since establishing their firm in 1993, the husband and wife partnership of Laura and Jim Smiros-along with our staff of over 20 architects and designers-has returned again and again to these flawless principles, enlisting them to create  livable, functional, elegant residences and commercial projects throughout the Eastern seaboard and from London to Moscow.

Whether working within a classical, traditional or conservative modern idiom, it is our steadfast loyalty to these concepts that we believe prompted the local chapter of the American Institute of Architects to describe Smiros + Smiros as "the new architect of the country place."

And it is the seamless integration of this philosophy with the expertise of landscape, interior and other design professional-as well as a savvy understanding of the way value is interpreted in the realm of real estate-that engenders the loyalty and respect of our clientele. Many return from one generation to the next and from one career development to another, asking us to guide them to the realization of their dreams.

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Topic of the Month: An English Tudor Home on Long Island     

Smiros 2Following in the elegant tradition of the early 20th century estates on the north shore of Long Island, NY, James Smiros of Smiros + Smiros Architects designed a lavish English country home that is reminiscent of the Gold Coast era with the exception of a few modern touches. The 12,000-square-foot home sits on a five-acre parcel of land in Matinecock, NY and was completed in 2007.

The design was inspired by architect Harrie T. Lindeberg, who began his career working for the firm of McKim, Mead & White more than a hundred years ago. Lindeberg is best known for designing country houses in New York as well as other parts of the country.

It was the homeowner's idea to have a home designed in the style of Lindeberg. Smiros explains, "Her brother lived in a Harrie T. Lindeberg house, which she always admired. Lindeberg designed a number of homes on Long Island. His work was inspired by the English architects of the turn of the century who were doing English country houses, but he interpreted them with an American perspective. So it was interesting to be interpreting the work of somebody who interpreted other work. When you look back through history for inspiration, I think everything gets run through your own filter naturally. So while we do look at historical precedents, we reinterpret them to reflect how we live today, and that is what we did here."

One of the ways in which Smiros gave the house a more modern look was to make the windows very large. He explains, "Lindeberg's style tended to have larger masonry or masonry walls with smaller windows and openings. We stayed more faithful to that on the front side of the house, but on the garden side we opened up the size of the windows quite a bit to maximize light and to leave openness in those spaces. That was an important element. Another tool that we incorporated in this particular house, which isn't really part of Lindeberg's style, was that we took all the primary rooms and we had them all face south. So, the dining room, the living room, the library, the entry hall, the kitchen, the breakfast room, the family room, the master bedroom and several of the children's bedrooms all face south. They all share that common view and southern exposure. So that was one of the things that we did to incorporate more contemporary living elements into the house. And because of the size of the lot, we were fortunate that we were able to orient the house to really take advantage of the southern exposure."

There were many aspects of the project that Smiros enjoyed, for example the schematic planning of the house. "I guess it was really the relationship of the house to the site and the three-dimensional forms of the house that I enjoyed most. The porte-cochère that we created with the little coach house elements I thought was fun."

"I also had a lot of fun with the stone detailing on the house. All the stone detailing on the house is authentic. We did coursed stone work there and had a wonderful mason who did all that coursing on site. The coursing was done on all of the exterior stone on the house with the exception of the details on the front door. The stone was set in random courses, so we have a row that is 5" high, then 8" high, then 9" high, and then 5" high. That's an authentic setting that was used by the Romans. If you look at antique Roman walls, you'll see they're set in the same way. We did a very traditional detail of the roof edge as well, which gave the house a very authentic look. The stone detailing on the bay windows and the entry door is very sympathetic to the other stone work on the house."

"The concept here is that this is a country house. This is a gentleman's country estate and we tried to reinforce that with materials. We wanted it to look like a formidable country house, but still be recognized as a country house."

The interior of the house is very classical and formal, and yet it feels comfortable, which is a quality that Smiros was hoping to achieve, and did so with great success. He explains, "That's exactly what we were going for. It's about materials and textures. In the family room we used the same stone that we used on the exterior and we brought it inside on the chimney. The roof of that room is authentic timber framing which makes for a very pretty combination with the stone." Smiros not only designed the house but decorated it as well, and with his blend of materials, textures and colors, he created a stately house that feels like a home.  


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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