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  Glacier Blue® Architectural Topics & News     
          Monthly Newsletter
March 2014
In This Issue


Topic of the Month: Charleston Style on the Jersey Shore

Architectural Firm of the Month: David C. Bennett Architects

Helpful Links for Architects     

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Devonian Stone - dakota Happy Spring and welcome to the March 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: David C. Bennett Architects

David C. Bennett Architects LLC is a full service architectural firm located in Philadelphia's historic Mainline. The home is our design focus.  The firm has considerable experience in the design of new homes, additions and renovations in the Philadelphia suburbs and the Jersey Shore.

We draw inspiration from houses that form the fabric of towns we admire from the train suburbs of Philadelphia to the simple shingle cottages of coastal Maine; from the Early Victorian and Federal Style farmhouses of the Eastern Shore of Maryland to the Low Country houses of Charleston, SC and the Gulf-Coast cottages of Florida.

Our goal is to be an advocate for our clients. The details, whether cost considerations, sustainability of materials or aesthetics, make our relationships with our clients. Our product is a house for today, but is built to be enjoyed for many years to come.
For more Information:

Is it possible to combine two styles of architecture that originated from two different areas of the country with different climates and make the design work? The answer is yes. That is what architect David C. Bennett did with a residence in the town of Avalon, New Jersey when he used the Charleston low country style as inspiration but made the home suitable for the mid-Atlantic climate. 

Bennett's colleague Fred Sykes of Gilbert and Sykes Builders Inc. introduced him to the clients and they hit it off right away. Bennett explains how the design came about. "I'm a big fan of a lot of regional American styles, including shingle style, low country Charleston style and some of the Gulf Coast Caribbean styles. A lot of contemporary architecture in Avalon had been mimicking architectural styles of homes from Long Island or Cape Cod. I suggested the Charleston low country style which seemed appropriate because in the summer Avalon's climate is similar to what you would find in Savannah or Charleston. The big porches and the classical detailing are typical of that region. The clients were really delighted with that and had some of their own ideas as well."

"The house has brick, which is something you would see in New Jersey and also down in Charleston. Sometimes people introduce stone, which is really more appropriate for a shingle style house in New England, so I thought that was very important that they had the brick, and the brick fireplace. It just made a lot of sense. We also used Hardie plank siding which is a linear plank that is really what you would see down in that region, in the low country. I'm not a slave to style so sometimes I will introduce shingles which are more from New England, but in this case I was pretty faithful to it."

Even though Bennett's main inspiration for the project was the Charleston style, he managed to make the design of the interior much more contemporary by creating large spaces. He explains, "I do a fair amount of restoration and renovation work in the Philadelphia suburbs and there are a lot of lovely 20th century houses and some of them are quite large. It gets a little bit out of control with houses that are 6,000 or 7,000 square feet or more. By and large, if people have 2 or 3 kids you really don't need more than 4 or 5 bedrooms and you really don't need a house larger than 4,000 or even 5,000 square feet unless you're doing a lot of entertaining. The rooms that people expect because of what they've seen, including a family room, living room, dining room, tend to be much bigger than what these traditional styles can handle. That's what I started with and in this house I think I was pretty successful. There is a big living room, dining room and kitchen and they're all connected, but to modulate the forms on the outside of this Charleston style and to have these big spaces on the inside, if you're not careful it can kind of get away from you. People who have seen it are always stunned at how big the house is inside and I'm always thrilled with that because my intention is to make it look like a 19th century Charleston style house but still have the kind of size spaces that people expect in the 21st century. That's always the struggle. And this house is about 4,000 square feet. To make it look like it's not too big is always a challenge."

"I think the porches helped a lot, which was intentional particularly in Avalon, Stone Harbor and Ocean City. The houses in north New Jersey are really different, at least the towns I'm familiar with like Bay Head, Mantoloking and Spring Lake. Those are really bedroom communities and they have these wonderful old houses that are suburban residences that people live in year round. You see similar things in Cape May. They're really more traditional houses. If you go further down the coast you find beach houses that people from New York, Philadelphia or DC would come to mainly in the summer. A lot of people in these beach houses live on the second floor to capture the breezes and that's what I did here. This house is about two blocks from the beach and about 85% of the houses in that area are at this second level. People go out to their front porch and see their neighbors who are also on the second floor and everyone wants to be above to capture the breezes, so that was really a part of the design as well. It's something that's really common down there and it's interesting because when you go to really old communities like Cape May, it's totally different because people didn't live on the second floor when those houses were built, they lived on the first floor. So those are some things that I brought to this to make it different."

The construction phase of the project took a little over a year and the design phase took about five or six months. Bennett explains, "The design part really continued throughout the construction. I worked very closely with them with selecting the different finishes. They did some interesting things. The front door is Sapele mahogany and I think it makes it really special, as it has that orangey-red color. That's something you wouldn't really see in the south, you'd tend to see a door that might be brightly painted in the south but not mahogany. On the inside they went with bamboo floors which are very sustainable because they're fast growing."

Bennett adds, "For the most part, I don't know that vocabulary-wise, it's much different from the south. I think I'm making it more open which tends to be more southern. That's actually what's fantastic about New Jersey and Maryland is that they're kind of in the middle. They're not as cold as New England and they're not as hot as the south so you can draw on styles from both places which is something I'm thrilled about."

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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