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  Glacier Blue® Architectural Topics & News     
          Monthly Newsletter
May 2013
In This Issue


Topic of the Month: A Lakefront Home in Maine

Architectural Firm of the Month: John Cole Architect

Helpful Links for Architects     

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Devonian Stone Patio CA Welcome to the May issue of our newsletter! In each issue we present you with interesting and 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. To learn more about our "high-end" cut-to-size Glacier Blue® Devonian Sandstone products, please click here to visit our website.
Architectural Firm of the Month: John Cole Architect

John Cole 1
Photo courtesy Brian Vanden Brink

John Cole Architect specializes in the design of vacation and retirement homes, primarily in New England. These homes all start with the owners' attachment to a place and the dream of a more relaxed life-style. My goal is to give form to the dream.      
Early in my architectural career I designed homes for custom builders. As a partner in a large Boston area firm I continued to design homes for friends and word-of-mouth clients, as well as leading teams on award-winning commercial projects. Drawn back to my roots by the satisfaction of hands-on work, my focus now is home design inspired by New England traditions of craft, thrift and whimsy.
For more Information:

John Cole 2 
Photo courtesy Brian Vanden Brink


John Cole was a partner at a large commercial architectural firm in Boston, MA, doing residential design work on the side. When he was approached by one of his commercial clients and asked to design a lakefront vacation home in Maine, he welcomed the opportunity. This project, the Classic Camp, became the turning point for Cole, redirecting his career towards doing residential work exclusively.

This charming waterfront residence was built on the site of a former boys' camp on Pleasant Lake in western Maine and Cole considers it an example of his signature style.

"The twin gables are the thing that sets the house off," explains Cole. "The big roof, I think, subliminally conveys a sense of shelter that people react to, and the natural materials blend in with the surrounding woods. Red cedar shingles and green trim is sort of the classic Maine Camp, and I was trying to stay within that vocabulary but freshen it up a bit so there's a little extra trim here and there. You see things in profile that give it a silhouette against the sky, which makes it instantly recognizable."

There is a sense of rustic elegance in this home that is accentuated  by the use of natural wood inside. Cole explains, "We used a lot of recycled timber. Heart pine beams came from an old barn in upstate New York. All the interior woodwork and flooring is reclaimed fir that was locally milled which gives it a warm glow. There's a patina to old wood and you see old knots and nail holes. It's not meant to be perfect."

Attention to detail is one of the things that set Cole's Classic Camp apart from a typical Maine Camp house. "There are a lot of people who build in that vernacular," explains Cole. "I think what makes this different is the attention to detail and the scale. The choice of materials is beyond what you'd find in a more standard contractor version." Aside from the extensive use of recycled wood, there are other unique touches such as soapstone counters, a fireplace keystone that came from the lake, and kitchen tiles hand-painted with loons and blue herons. 

The house has three bedrooms, a study and a Great Room, which is a living room, dining room and kitchen all together. There is a screened porch and an open porch and many interior spaces that link the inside and outside. Cole explains, "The public spaces tend to be open so there's a lot of social interaction. There are also a lot of indoor-outdoor connections to take advantage of views to the lake, the White Mountains, or a specimen tree and these make people feel connected to the outdoors. After all, that's why they're there."

The homeowners are apparently "ardent naturalists," which makes the home a perfect fit. "It was very important for them to have places to observe the natural world throughout the day. There's a sitting area in the staircase, a breakfast nook, and two bay windows on the front side of the house so you can sit in any one of those four places during the course of the day and follow the sun around the house and see different vistas. There is a lot of beautiful wildlife to observe, everything from bald eagles to voles."

The home was very thoughtfully placed on the land, which is likely the reason why Cole notices that, "A lot of people say this house looks like it was always there."

"There was a clearing on the site, and in fact there were no trees cut down to put this house on the land. There is one old tree that we particularly wanted to preserve and the house is actually centered on that tree. That tree is in the middle of a circular driveway, and you can draw a straight line from that tree through the middle of the house, through the front door and the back door and down to the lake. So there's a sight line all the way through the house. And then there are two trees in the front which anchor the house on the water side. So there are actually three trees that the house is set between - the two in the front frame it, and the one in the back creates an axis from the driveway all the way to the water."

The project took about two years to complete, from the start of design to the day the homeowners moved in and not only are they extremely happy with it, but others seem to fall in love with it as well. Cole adds, "The emotional responses that people get to that house I cannot fathom. It just seems to strike a chord." 
Helpful Links for Architects

AIA Custom Residential Architects Network (CRAN) 

The Custom Residential Architects Network (CRAN), a Knowledge Community of The American Institute of Architects, is committed to the promotion of all residential architecture based on architectural content irrespective of style. For more information visit:  

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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