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  Glacier Blue® Architectural Topics & News     
          Monthly Newsletter
May 2015
In This Issue


Topic of the Month: A Colorful New Farmhouse in New England

Architectural Firm of the Month: Rafe Churchill, Architect

Helpful Links for Architects     

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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! Your project could be featured 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.

Photo Courtesy John Gruen


Rafe Churchill crafts traditional buildings inspired by the historic architecture of New England. Working from a historic house on the village green in Sharon, Connecticut, a talented team of designers guides each project through the entire building process, from preliminary design through construction oversight. The firm is well versed in sustainable building practices and standards-seamlessly combining the latest technologies with traditional building techniques, resulting in buildings that are as beautiful as they are functional. 

For more information visit:

Photo Courtesy John Gruen 


When architect Rafe Churchill built a farmhouse in Sharon, Connecticut in 2012, the intention was to create a house that appeared historical in scale and proportion while offering modern amenities. This harmonious fusion of old and new is what Churchill refers to as the "new old house", which his firm has become known for designing.


The home is quite charming, sitting in the midst of an expansive and minimally landscaped meadow. Minimalism is part of what helps to create the modern historic aesthetic, both indoors and out.


When asked how Churchill designed the home to look like a traditional farmhouse with a more modern look, he responded, "We were looking at Shaker architecture. We were interested in designing a house loosely based on Shaker design, but we wanted to design a house that would still be very much a family house. We also considered classic farmhouses built around 1900 as a great example of simple and functional design. The modern look seems to be mostly found in the Shaker details such as handrails, cabinets, millwork, and of course in the roof which is mounted with solar panels."


The mixture of old and new works really beautifully in this home, which has a warm yet clean look throughout. Natural materials are used, which bring a rustic, old-fashioned feel to the rooms. Churchill explains, "Most of the house has Southern Yellow Pine floors. The first floor has Bona Naturale as the sealer, while the upper levels are painted with a high gloss industrial paint. The mudroom floor is tiled with re-sawn brick."

Vintage lighting from PW Vintage Lighting in Great Barrington, MA was used in the home. Churchill explains, "It was our goal to find authentic lighting that had an obvious patina and simplicity. Sometimes the only way to achieve this is to use the real thing."


The creative use of pleasing but somewhat offbeat colors is another way that Churchill brought a more modern look to the farmhouse, with its light pumpkin orange exterior, apple green living room, bright yellow kitchen and bright yellow mouldings in the dining room. The ceiling of the screened-in porch is painted a rich blue, and other unique colors are used throughout the interior of the house.


Energy efficiency was high on the list of priorities for the new farmhouse. Churchill explains, "There is a 10 kilowatt solar array on the roof. The house has geothermal wells for heating, rainwater collection, SIP's wall systems, and HRV systems. There is no propane in the house. All appliances and the geothermal system are run by electricity which is mostly powered by the solar panels." This part of the project was not new to Churchill, as in recent years he had designed and built the first LEED-certified house and the first Net Zero house in Western Connecticut.


When asked if there were any challenges with the project, Churchill explained, "The biggest challenge was building a new house that looked authentic and historically accurate. The house is often mistaken for a renovated farmhouse."


The 4,500 square foot house took nine months to build. Aside from the main home there is also a barn, two sheds and a pool. 

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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