2008 Shutze Award Winners
Commercial/Civic/Institutional Building – under 10,000 square feet
Situated in the South Carolina Lowcountry, Palmetto Bluff is a pristine sea island defined by the convergence of three historically significant rivers. The core of the development is The Village, which was precisely sited along the May River to frame the ruins of a 19th century mansion which once stood along its shores. The Village contains a mixture of cottage and estate homes, along with a village center composed of mixed use-commercial and civic buildings.
The developers enlisted our firm to design the core commercial and civic buildings of The Village, which includes a Sales Center, Post Office, General Store and Village Chapel. Our design team began with an in-depth study of local architectural precedent to understand the various architectural and planning elements of historic civic and commercial buildings. By carefully siting the buildings below century old oak trees, the Design Team was able to evoke a timeless sense of place. Inspired by some of the South’s most endearing small towns, the carefully crafted architecture provides a sense of authenticity, identity and permanence for a community that is in its early stages of development.
Intended to evoke the nostalgia of an old-time post office, the design team found inspiration for this new “Post Office” by studying the main-street districts of America’s small towns. As part of a village streetscape, it was critical that the structure fit within the fabric of the town center while also retaining its own architectural identity. As often seen in commercial and civic buildings from the early twentieth century, the Post Office is punctuated by elements of the Italianate style, including a parapet wall and large decorative bracketry.
Serving as a mail facility for the residents of Palmetto Bluff, the design team studied historical precedent to incorporate both functional and period-appropriate elements into this civic structure. A front lobby, complete with a service counter and old-style brass post office boxes, presents an immediate sense of authenticity. Large mahogany doors separate the front lobby from the interior room. This space would have traditionally been a mailroom, but in this case it is used as a multi-purpose space which can easily be adapted to meet emerging needs of the community. A set of French doors open to an intimate courtyard space situated between the Post Office and the adjacent General Store, allowing for indoor/outdoor events. In keeping with historical precedent, a large, metal framed skylight runs the entire length of the interior room. Historically, Post Offices often had minimal windows for security reasons and a skylight allowed the work space to have abundant natural light.
Architectural elements, such as the simple trim and large transoms above the interior doors, are reminiscent of an earlier era. Vintage and period-inspired materials, such as antique heart pine floors, painted wood walls, ceiling fans and mahogany doors lend texture and warmth to this building, which derives its charm from its simple, straightforward form.
Commercial/Civic/Institutional Building – over 10,000 square feet
Harrison Design Associates
This 26,000 square foot office building and showroom pays homage to the classical Spanish Mediterranean influences of Addison Mizner. The style reflects the context of the coastal surroundings, blending interior and exterior spaces though the use of columned walkways, covered entries, and spacious courtyards. Mahogany windows, terra-cotta tiles, wrought iron, carved limestone, clay roof tiles and masonry stucco add a level of warmth to this building that is not found in other commercial structures in the area.
With a setback of only 30 feet from a busy road, the designers decided to locate parking behind the building in order to create a more inviting relationship to the sidewalk and street beyond. The human scale of the front entry facade is reinforced by a classical arcade and lush landscaping, which is highlighted by a formal columned entry portico.
The existing site was home to several colossal Live Oaks which created an interesting design challenge for the team. They had to determine the optimum layout of the building and parking lot in order to minimize the impact on the environment. This challenge proved to be inspirational, resulting in an L-shaped structure that utilizes the largest of these trees as a focal point for an entry courtyard on the secluded rear facade of the building. Parking is concealed by a large wall with arched openings leading into the courtyard and rear entry of the building. A functioning outdoor fireplace with a Spanish style chimney visually anchors the far corner of this walled garden and provides a space for year-round entertainment and product display.
Both the front and rear entrances lead into a two-story atrium with a wrought iron skylight above. A large carved wood mantle and sweeping limestone stair lend a homelike feeling to the design center which contains offices and showrooms for residential product and service providers.
This secluded English country home is sited at the end of a high ridge taking advantage of southerly views of the Atlanta skyline. The driveway is carefully aligned, both horizontally and vertically, to offer views of the site’s steep woodland and to delay even a glimpse of the house until the drive pivots around a giant oak tree and terminates on axis with the formal house elevation. Arrival court walls and restrained use of traditional plant materials such as boxwoods, hollies and manicured lawns, frame and compliment the architecture rather than competing with it.
Steep slopes at the rear of the house are terraced to relate to the multiple house levels. Architectural elements combined with hedges and other plantings define these terraces. The combination of appropriate plant materials and hardscape elements, inspired by the architecture, unite the house and landscape in the manner of Lutyens’ country homes. The palette of house materials is repeated for site and garden features. Columns, retaining and garden walls are constructed of weathered granite and wood-mould bricks. Limestone is used for formal terraces and walks while rustic slabs of Yorkstone are crafted into less formal steps, landings and pavements. Landings are detailed with varied diamond paving patterns. Roof slates are set vertically to border the gravel paths at the kitchen garden. The owner’s antique terra cotta medallions, which were inherited during the design phase, are incorporated into the house and landscape walls and framed in either brick or stone as wall art.
Plant materials appropriate for an English inspired landscape such as yew like conifers, viburnums, rhododendrons, climbing roses, clipped boxwoods, abundant perennial beds and manicured lawns compliment and frame the architecture. The gardens and outdoor rooms of this estate echo the materials, scale and spirit of this elegant English country home and provide a seamless transition into the surrounding landscape.
Pak Heydt & Associates
This Atlanta Cotswold manor, named Boxwood by the original Owner, was designed by Phillip Shutze in the late 1920s. In 2005, Pak Heydt & Associates set about updating the home for the new owners, a young family of five with an active lifestyle. The most significant changes were made to the north wing of the house which included updating the kitchen, keeping room, breakfast room, and addition of a side entry, stair, lavatory, mud room, wine cellar, home office, and butler’s pantry. The Owners were passionately involved in every aspect of the architectural and interior design. Every room of the house was touched, and the construction was exceptionally executed by Alan Palmer and Kathy Gregorcyk of Mark Palmer Construction. John Howard beautifully restored the original gardens and made sensitive additions to the landscape design. The design team believed it was their responsibility to make interventions and additions in keeping with the integrity and vision of Shutze’s original plans.
Harrison Design Associates
An estate home of formal grandeur reflects the earlier era of Atlanta in the 1920’s when her foremost families provided their homes with opulent public facades that all could visually enjoy from the public domain. Following Beaux-arts design principles, the five bay façade crescendos in the center with the giant order columned temple. The excellent craftsmanship of sculpted limestone walls and trim is especially evident in the 27-foot Corinthian columns. Taking three years to quarry and sculpt in Indiana, they are the largest monolithic limestone columns in the city. The entry surround displays a composition of Italian Mannerist detailing with broken pediment, swags, cartouche and strapwork over Doric fluted columns. The garden façade recalls the inspiration of eighteenth-century Neo-Palladian work in England.
The interior rooms are aligned in a formal layout with the entry axis terminating in the two-story salon. From the circular entry hall another cross axis connects the dining room with the library. The double cube height of the library with its walnut and iron circular stair is inspired by George Vanderbilt’s Art Library in Biltmore House in Asheville, North Carolina. Jacques Brunet of Paris, the former head of the French Iron Workers Guild, designed the wrought iron and bronze openwork and handrails throughout the interior and exterior of the home. His most dramatic work occurs in the majestic stair balustrade composed of gilded birds, cherubs, and floral motifs. All entertainment spaces are accessed from the terrace level and include a billiard room and pub, wine cellar and tasting room, home theater, shooting gallery, and an outside swimming pool.
Residential/Single Family – under 4,000 square feet
D. Stanley Dixon Architect
The project is a renovation of a 1950’s ranch-style house built in the 1920’s Tuxedo Park neighborhood. The goal of the recent renovation was to instill the qualities of classical proportion and detail to fit more harmoniously with the neo-classical architectural styles within the neighborhood.
The existing qualities of the house such as the steep pitched hip roof and French doors across the front elevation, led us to the French provincial style.
The architectural alterations include the addition of a new entry, new dormer windows and a new dining pavilion. Custom doors and windows were designed and proportioned to reflect the continuity of the French style. The completion of the shallow pitched upper tier of the mansard roof was added. The eave of the house was raised by 14” by adding radius flair to the roof line, along with the addition of a classical yet simple cornice. Root two and root four proportions were used on the addition of the limestone entry and dining pavilion respectively. The exterior materials include limestone entry portico, slate roof, copper details, painted mahogany windows and shutters, and painted brick.
The interior plan was rearranged to create continuous axial arrangements of rooms and views. The interior trim was designed to reflect the restrained and elegantly proportioned character of French interiors. The shaped entry hall gives the house an immediate feeling of grace and elegance along with dancing stair treads viewed through an arched opening.
The formal parterre garden and grass lawn create a foreground that strongly relates and accentuates the symmetry and balance of the front façade. In contrast to the structured front garden, an informal park, adjacent to the house provides a romantic setting for the site.
This project is a great example of how classical details and sensibilities are used as a means to embellish an existing structure and produce a well proportioned and properly scaled residence.
Residential/Single Family – 4,000 to 10,000 square feet
Ken Tate Architect
This new house is the result of a series of “Fictional Narratives” that, as manifested, give the illusion of something built over roughly 270 years. While this idea created interesting juxtapositions of styles, more importantly it allowed for the use of historic styles for correspondingly appropriate functional or stylistic needs. For instance, the large-scale rear porch was designed in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century Colonial Revival style, which then allowed the “later” 1920’s up-to-date kitchen infill.
Another example is the use of the Federal style for the 1803 front portico and entrance door, which were imposed onto the Georgian main house. The Federal style, being a more neoclassical one, gives the entrance a “lighter,” more hospitable presence.
The same philosophy was used in the interiors. For instance, desire for the dining room to be prettier and more delicate than the house’s more prevalent Georgian style, gave rise to the use of the Federal style for its interior detailing.
The same idea was used in the Master Bathroom whereby the Early 20th Century style (of New York’s upper East side) better suited the function of the space more than the Federal style of that wing. Actually, the style chosen is a kind-of update of the Federal.
This narrative process also allowed the use of styles to bridge opposing functions. For instance, the side entrance, which was designed in the Colonial Revival style, provides a visual bridge between the “original” stone vernacular storage barn and the eighteenth century clapboard main house.
Furthermore, the fictional narrative created the opportunity to explore the use of “scale” in ways that normally would not apply. For instance, the dormers on the rear-yard side of the carriage house were “added” in the 20th Century when the attic “became a living space.” These dormers are a bigger scale and more vernacular than the main house’s “1756” more suitably scaled classical Georgian dormers. As seen from the rear yard, the two scales seem to contradict each other, and yet the tension invigorates the entire composition.
Residential/Single Family – over 10,000 square feet
Located on 2.4 acres in a residential section of Atlanta, Georgia, this gracious 16,000 sq ft residence was constructed over the course of three years between 2003 and 2006. The clients originally approached our firm for an ambitious addition to their 1950s ranch home that would be in context with the traditional character of the neighborhood. The extensive program was intended to augment the scale of the home in keeping with the increasing scale of renovations and new construction in the neighborhood. However, when it was discovered that the home had inadequate footings to support the desired renovations, the clients decided to raze the existing structure and re-examine their program. They then asked our firm to create a new residence that addressed all of their needs in a context and site sensitive manner.
The clients envisioned a home for hosting large parties, charity events and gatherings, but also wanted a “relaxed and cozy” arrangement of rooms to provide a comfortable setting for the family when they were not entertaining. This apparent conflict was resolved by dividing the programmatic needs between floors (similar to examples of the Italian Renaissance), with more public spaces and a grand entrance on the lower level and more private and elegant spaces on the main level.
Stylistically, the residence can best be described as a Beaux Arts style home that incorporates some more reserved material and detail influences from The Second Italian Renaissance Revival (Urban Palace and Rural Palace). The residence embodies Beaux Arts spirit most notably in its floor plan, starting with its grand stair rising up from the central hall. Large rooms with high ceilings are arranged in an “H” pattern to form front and rear courtyards, offering grand views and maximizing natural light and ventilation, further enhancing the monumental scale of the home. Also characteristic of the Beaux Arts plan are the projecting pavilions in which the more private areas of the home are situated.
Exterior detailing on the residence includes entry porches with pediments supported by classical columns, rusticated masonry at the ground level, paired and overlapping classical pilasters, stone balustrades at the balconies, pedimented windows with decorative brackets, and well articulated and proportioned cornice lines, all of which are hallmarks of the Beaux Arts Style. However, these details are executed in a more restrained manner by incorporating Second Italian Renaissance Revival elements such as smooth and relatively flat stucco walls, an arched colonnade at the recessed loggia, strong horizontal belt courses that imply a vertical transition between floors, window treatments that emphasize each story, attic story windows that are smaller and less elaborate than the main level windows below, and widely overhanging eaves supported by decorative brackets.
In summary, the residence draws heavily from the Beaux Arts examples of New York and Newport, Rhode Island but rather than deriving its aesthetic strength solely from elaborate and monumental decoration, this residence draws additional appeal from more subtle and refined classical elements similar to those found in the homes of Northern Italy and Central Europe. This blend of scale, proportion and detailing, created by combining complementary elements of two historical styles, is what makes this residence architecturally distinctive.