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In 1985, Rick Spitzmiller, along with Robert Norris, established Spitzmiller and Norris, Inc., based in Atlanta, Georgia. For more than 25 years Spitzmiller & Norris, Inc. has been a leader in premier residential design in the southeastern United States. Charming exteriors, attention to the smallest interior details and the intelligent flow of floor plans characterize the firm's house designs. Rick has worked with and long helped support the Georgia Trust for Historic Preservation and served a term on the Board of Governors for Historic Rhodes Hall.
Rick Spitzmiller and Robert Norris also help their clients' projects run smoothly by seamlessly interfacing with other members of the project teams, such as builders, landscape architects, interior designers, and engineers. By working together and communicating effectively with builders, they ensure that their projects are built as intended.
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When architect Rick Spitzmiller of Spitzmiller and Norris, Inc. was asked to build a new residence for a couple in Atlanta, Georgia, he ended up designing a home that is elegant, charming and has a bit of a fairytale feel to it. This is due in part to its Norman architecture-inspired design, and also to Spitzmiller's careful attention to unique elements and details.
When looking for a site on which to build the house, Spitzmiller explains, "A beautiful property of several acres was found to be the perfect location for the new house. Unfortunately, the house that was currently occupying the site was unsuitable in plan and appearance. We determined that we were able to design a completely new floor plan which would allow us to use all of the existing foundation walls."
The use of the existing foundation to create a new floor plan began as a challenge but eventually turned into an advantage by helping to save time on the project. Spitzmiller explains, "Achieving a floor plan that was not only completely responsive to our clients' needs and requirements, but which could fit on an existing foundation without appearing to be "compromised" was the real challenge. Our clients were perfectly willing for us to remove these foundations, but in our estimation they were in great condition and we welcomed the challenge to make use of them. This worked out well, since it meant that we did not have to wait for all new foundation walls to be set up, poured and cured. It actually advanced our construction schedule by a couple of months."
Spitzmiller, who is considered to be a conscientious preservationist, chose to use Norman architecture as his inspiration for the design of the house. Norman architecture dates back to 11th and 12th-century France and Britain and characteristics of this style include the use of stone arches and pillars. Spitzmiller explains, "The house has as its inspiration the country houses of northern France, particularly the Normandy region. We employed hallmarks of the style including several exterior wall materials such as stone and brick in the same hue, and limestone. To continue to borrow from the French Medieval tradition, we designed the house to have steeply pitched roofs with a variegated roofline and the roofing material is heavy reclaimed slate shingles. Chimneys have their compound flues expressed externally and are capped with terra cotta chimney pots. Modern elements such as the covered front porch, which would typically not have been found on a period Norman house, were made to blend with the style of the house by articulating the openings as a series of pointed-arched openings." Natural materials such as limestone, brick, hewn timbers and flagstones are employed liberally on the interior and exterior of the home.
The 9,500 square foot home consists of two main floors and about 4,000 square feet of basement. The basement is a level and a half with an office, a game room, wine cellar on one level and a large, heated garage for collector cars on the lowest level.
The footprint of the home is sizeable and includes a main floor master suite, well-planned paths of circulation, and a richly paneled library. Specialized storage includes many "hidden" paneled closets and a wonderfully useful china and silver pantry. Family and guest bedrooms occupy the upper floor. In the lower level, residents enjoy a theater, game room, exercise room, pantry kitchen and a private study. Spitzmiller explains, "On the interior, the moldings, cabinetry and stone work were all done to our specifications by fine artisans of our area. The French eclectic aesthetic, combined with classical detailing, continued on the interior for staircases, paneling and chimney-pieces."
The main floor living space was extended all around the house to incorporate outdoor living spaces in the form of terraces, porches and gardens that can be utilized throughout different moments of the day and times of the year.
The residence is filled with Old World European charm and elegance and is one that the owners are proud to call home.
|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:http://network.aia.org/cran
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:http://www.aia.org/practicing/groups/kc/AIAS076039
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:http://continuingeducation.construction.com
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:http://construction.com/community/forums.aspxCORA - 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: http://www.corarchitecture.org
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:http://www.greenmeetings.info
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: http://www.worldarchitecture.org
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
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