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


Topic of the Month: A Cotswold Cottage in North Carolina

Architectural Firm of the Month: James S. Collins, Architect

Helpful Links for Architects     

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Welcome to the October 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.

The firm of James S. Collins, Architect specializes in the design of traditional buildings and interiors as well as 
appropriate additions to existing residential, institutional and historic structures. With studios in New York City and Greensboro, North Carolina the firm's residential and institutional projects can be found in 
Connecticut, Georgia, Maine, New York, Pennsylvania, South
and North Carolina.

James Collins has studied and documented the building
types, construction techniques, materials, and details of
the dwellings, public buildings, and landscapes of the United States and Europe. From this background comes an understanding of the art of traditional construction and a desire to integrate the scale, proportions and vocabulary of classical and vernacular architecture into buildings, interiors and landscapes that reflect the client's lifestyle and needs.

For more information visit:

In Greensboro, North Carolina there is a charming, elegant home inspired by the architecture of the Cotswold region in England, known for its thatched cottages that sit comfortably in the landscape among picturesque rolling hills. Architect James S. Collins designed the residence for a couple who were drawn to a home designed by architect Edwin Lutyens in 1897. The homeowners searched for an architect who would have the expertise and vision to create an updated version of a Cotswold cottage for them on their property on the shore of Lake Hamilton, and Collins was perfect for the job.
Collins explains, "The homeowners had interviewed several architects but were unable to find someone who could design the type of house they wanted. During the initial meeting the homeowners asked that their home be similar to the traditional buildings in their former hometown of St. Louis and resemble a house they had seen in a book "on an English architect with an unusual name". They opened a book on the English architect Edwin Lutyens and proceeded to a photograph of Gertrude Jekyll's house in Munstead Wood. The homeowners wanted a simple cottage evoking picturesque qualities and were thrilled with the house that the E. S. Nichols, Builder constructed and that I designed."
Some characteristics of Cotswold style architecture include thatched roofs, tall prominent chimneys, steep arched gables and stone or stucco exteriors. Collins incorporated these, and others, into the design. Collins explains, "The traditional building craft and materials of America and Europe are woven into the design and details of theCotswold House. The front elevation of the Main House has the massing and feeling of an English country house with the varied silhouettes of its roofline and its unadorned facades."
"The brick veneer walls are laid up with tumbled bricks with flush mortar joints and finished with lime wash paint to resemble the clay lump walls found in English farmhouses. The counter balances at the eaves and the window and door lintels were concrete cast in the field in rough-hewn wood forms to resemble heavy timber lintels. The pergola is constructed of heavy wood timbers that are mortise, tenoned and pegged."
"The bell cast roof of the entry vestibule, the diagonally oriented flues of the chimneys, and the gable and eyebrow dormers are details that further evoke English rural architecture.  The use of vernacular building materials such as pine roof shingles, wavy-edged planks and heavy wood timbers add to the rural character of the building."
The 4,800 square foot Greensboro home has eight rooms on the first floor, ten rooms on the second floor, and a two-car garage with an attached artist studio. One challenge in designing the home, explains Collins, is that, "The homeowners wanted a combination living room and dining room on the first floor which created a very deep room at the center of the house.  We reduced the scale of this large multi-purpose room by lowering the ceiling of the living/dining room."
In the main hallway there is vinyl flooring with a black border and diagonal accents to resemble marble. Throughout the rest of the house there are wood floors. The first and second floors have 2-1/4" stained oak strip floors and the living/family room is done in 2-1/4" stained oak strip flooring laid in a herringbone pattern which adds texture and catches the eye with light.
Collins adds, "The decorator Cynthia Schoonover had excellent taste in selecting fabrics and furniture."
The construction part of the project took one year to complete.

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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