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


Topic of the Month: A Tudor Home Renovation

Architectural Firm of the Month: Daniel Contelmo Architects

Helpful Links for Architects     

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Devonian Stone - Prospect Park Welcome to the November 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. We might feature your project in one of our upcoming issues of this newsletter. 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: Daniel Contelmo Architects

Daniel Contelmo Architects understands that for a design to be successful, it has to work for the clients on a daily basis. Dan gets to know his clients and learns their life patterns to produce a home that provides room for family gatherings and personal reflection. With his talent for listening to clients' needs and envisioning unique solutions, Dan designs homes that describe their inhabitants: who they are and how they want to live. Ultimately, Dan's goal is that his clients feel proud of their home; a space that is the result of their interaction with the architect, each other, and their surroundings. Every detail is designed to improve their lifestyle through function and beauty. Whether a new construction or an addition, each design tells a story.  
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The owners of The Warm Residence, a 1930's Tudor home located in Westchester County, New York, approached Daniel Contelmo Architects with the intention of designing a modest renovation to improve their kitchen and open the space to the rest of the house. The project began in November of 2011 and took 18 months to complete.

Many of the rooms were small and confining, and the kitchen was no exception. To accomplish the owners' vision, interior walls had to be removed, but they were constructed of clay blocks which supported two-story block walls above. Contelmo explains, "The construction of the existing house being clay block was unknown until demolition began. We had to consult the structural engineer for a plan to support the upper floor walls, while taking down first floor walls. The blocks had to be removed and replaced with steel beams, all while keeping the upper floors intact."

While discussing how the kitchen would be opened to the adjacent rooms, Contelmo suggested adding a proper mudroom for their small children. The family was used to entering their home through a side door leading into a narrow hallway. The hall acted as a crossroads; it was a means of getting from the door to the rest of the house and had no storage for shoes or coats. A mudroom offered the perfect solution. Soon thereafter, a family room update, a guest room, and a bathroom were also absorbed into the renovations.

To add charm to the classic Tudor home, a stone turret was incorporated, providing a whimsical, rustic element to the exterior. In the original design, the new front turret housed the mudroom; now the turret serves as a side entrance, an addition to one of the children's bedrooms above, and a curved staircase to a rustic wine cellar below.

The cellar, another unexpected addition to the renovation, can be found at the end of a stone corridor, complete with brick floors and arches, stone walls, and a barreled stucco ceiling. The brick continues into the tasting room, where 2 ¼" thick rustic oak doors welcome guests to the wine storage room below the breakfast room.

Designs were nearly complete when the owners raised concerns about the existing below-grade garage; the driveway was so steep that they had never parked a car in it. At first, radiant heat was proposed as an option to avoid the yearly ice and snow buildup, but the existing drainage pipes couldn't handle the extra water. Instead, Contelmo and the owners decided to fill the driveway, burying the existing garage, and construct a new three-car garage. Built on a diagonal to the existing house, the garage follows the contours of a hill leading to a play area. The angle creates a connecting space that became the laundry room and mudroom, providing access to the family room, garage, and rear yard. With the proposed changes, the project quickly evolved into a nearly full-home renovation. Soon there were renovations to the main entry, sunroom, dining room, art room, and a new breakfast room, which occupies another turret.

The flat roof over the family room, a remnant of a 1970s renovation was replaced with steeply pitched roof, which blends perfectly with the existing structures. Slate shingles add to the historic character of the home.

During construction, it was discovered that the existing one-thousand square foot rear deck was in poor condition and would have to be replaced. The new deck became part of the project and was built on two levels. A pergola outside the family room extends the living space onto the deck. The lower level of the deck connects to the kitchen, curving around the rear turret. Hammered wrought iron balustrades border the perimeter and a new stone grilling area allows the family to cook and relax outdoors.

What started out as a small kitchen renovation snowballed into a project twenty times the original budget. Ultimately, the decisions to continue adding to the design were driven by a desire to create spaces of equal quality, rather than leaving half of the house either outdated or in need of repair. Throughout the project, the scope of work changed almost continuously. The owners were flexible and responsive to Contelmo 's suggestions to improve the quality of their house. He explains, "They had great attitudes towards sensibly designed traditional architecture."  He feels that the owners made the right choices to make their house a reflection of themselves while keeping its integrity. He added, "I feel that, in general, we don't own homes; we inhabit them for a certain period of time. Our obligation is to maintain them for historic value, while ensuring that they can be passed on to future generations as examples of excellent craftsmanship and enduring design."

Daniel Contelmo Architects was involved in all phases of the project including the design of the built-ins, lighting, hardscape of the exterior, as well as the construction contract administration. When reflecting on the project, Contelmo stated, "We strive to provide details that reflect those of the period of the original house, while adding a bit more formality in the spaces that demand it. The turrets are typically a challenge to construct, but they were masterfully executed by the builder, Home Enrichment Company."

From classic estates to country side cottages, Daniel Contelmo Architects has been providing insightful solutions and timeless designs for nearly twenty-five years. They are one of the New York Hudson Valley's premier architectural firms, having won numerous awards for their designs. Contelmo has contributed to online publications, traditional magazines, books, HGTV, and was recently published in Beautiful Homes.

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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