2010 Shutze Award Winners
Landscape/ Garden Design: Adaptation of Historic Landscape
Graham Landscape Architecture
Wye Hall resides on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. It began as a great waterfront estate laid out in the 1790s. The original mansion burned and was replaced by a Victorian dwelling, which in turn was replaced by a Colonial Revival house. Over the years the integrity of Wye Hall’s complex landscape had been compromised by neglect and later simplification. Using archaeological research, horticultural expertise, ecological respect, and a good eye, the multifaceted character of the property has been reinstated and to some extent, reinterpreted. The property’s resources have been fully documented and vistas restored. Its garden restorations include the kitchen garden, cutting garden, and park. The wetlands and waterfront and other natural areas have been stabilized through the use of aquaculture and native plants. If only all our historic estates could receive such informed treatment. As juror, Paul Whalen, wrote, “Existing natural and historic qualities were intensely scrutinized to create a natural and timeless result. Scrupulous interventions have resulted in a series of masterly views that combine the simplicity of the American agrarian landscape with the romanticism of Capability Brown, The stated goals of this complex effort may refer to sustainability and historic preservation, but in these hands, the results are painterly in the great tradition.”
Landscape/ Garden Design
Alec Michaelides, Land Plus Associates
A Country Estate
This country estate near Dalton, Georgia, of new construction, is a prodigious and impressive Tudor-style mansion that has been given a setting where both Elizabeth I and Gertrude Jekyll would feel at home. It’s a blending of the best of English gardening traditions. Park-like grounds surround the house, which is embellished with a walled garden complex with a herbaceous border, water feature, summer house, kitchen garden, a library garden, and fountain section—all forming a veritable mansion of landscaped rooms.
It’s been said our most endangered species is a high-maintenance formal garden. The owners of this magical place should be appreciated for their dedication to ensuring the perpetuation of an endangered species, which has set a new standard for designers to emulate.
Henry W. Grady Healthy System Foundation
The Goddard Memorial Chapel
Through the sponsorship of the Henry W. Grady Health System Foundation, funding was obtained for the restoration of Grady Hospital’s Goddard Chapel, Philip Trammell Shutze’s last ecclesiastical space. Architects, Jonathan LaCrosse of D. Stanley Dixon Architect, Steve Markey of Harrison Design Associates and Clay Ulmer of NCG Architects rallied to take on this historical restoration with great enthusiasm.
In order to remain true to Shutze’s vision, much of the team of craftsman worked to reverse the effects of previous, misguided renovation attempts. This included repair to damaged carvings, restoring the gilding to it’s original brilliance by removing layers of blackened gold paint and whitewash from once hand-rubbed finishes; refinishing the marble ?oors which were laden with years of linoleum wax. Among the technical challenges they faced were updating the HVAC system to provide a more ambient atmosphere, and new lighting to compensate for natural light that was removed where windows had been blocked up. Some elements were replicated in Shutze’s style such as the fabric for the kneeler’s, which were nearly worn bare in some areas, and the replacement of the damask window draperies and curtain tassels, which allegedly disappeared altogether.
The task of restoring the authenticity of the chapel was assisted by a series of advantageous moments which occurred throughout the restoration and could perhaps even be called divine intervention by Shutze himself. At the beginning of the project, George Smith, the architectural project manager for Grady Hospital, resurrected original blueprints from the confines of hospital storage. The well-chosen team of architects and artisans also found the original cross, standard and brass book stand, hidden away in a hospital closet. Their final gift of good fortune occurred when they stumbled upon a 1962 issue of Atlanta Magazine, at the Atlanta History Center, which displayed images of the chapel in all it’s glory. In the words of Calder Loth, 2010 Shutze juror, “the chapel was meticulously and lovingly restored to its original character. We cannot have lasting architecture without decent craftsmanship. And we cannot preserve our architectural monuments without skilled craftsmen involved with maintenance and restoration. This was vividly demonstrated in the restoration of Philip Shutze’s Goddard Chapel, located in the Grady Memorial Hospital here in Atlanta.”
Spitzmiller & Norris, Inc.
This 1852 Georgia raised cottage was situated on a property that was being sold for commercial development. This necessitated moving the house eighteen miles away to a new rural site where it was carefully restored. The home was moved in sections and the roof structure was removed in order to miss overhead wires. On its new site, a new, properly detailed Greek Doric porch was added to the rear to overlook the garden. On the inside, new Doric columns were added in the hall to define a dining area. Missing mantels were crafted based on designs in Asher Benjamin’s pattern-books. The Greek Revival raised cottage is a signature antebellum architectural type in Georgia. It’s commendable that this important artifact has been given a new lease on life through relocation and sensitive restoration.
David Jones Architects
House at Folly’s Cove
This home underwent what may be called an extreme makeover. The residence that was described in the beginning by Calder Loth as,” an insipid 1950s Doris-Day –style dwelling in an idyllic waterfront setting at Folly’s Cove near St. Michael’s, Maryland, became a remarkable accomplishment with taste and imagination. All of the details were addressed, including a recreational room that has been transformed into a spiritually nourishing veranda, a picture window that frames perfection, and a new entrance façade, which is a scene that looks so fitting that you can’t imagine it ever not being there.
Khoury & Vogt Architects
The Caliza Pool, a bathing complex in Alys Beach, Florida has been called a veritable Xanadu. The elegant site plan depicts ancient Greek agoras, which are the inspiration for the layout of the enclosed space with a fluid indoor/outdoor relationship. The architecture itself is hard to pin on particular sources other than exotic with a touch of Mediterranean and North African influences. The eclectic design achieves its purpose of making you want to enjoy the sun and water as well as convivial warm evenings. This complex has every amenity you could wish for: a seductive main pool, lap pool, cabañas, a dining loggia, lounging couches, and great lighting; all with an eye towards sustainability.
Juror, Paul Whalen wrote, “Harking back to American architecture such as the Venetian Pool in Coral Gable, Caliza goes a step further. This is a pool garden formed with an architecture that perfectly captures American cultural notions of the exotic and sybaritic. Precise classical formalism fuses a dream-like vernacular with a good dose of sexy Miami. The Panhandle will never be the same.”
Fairfax, Sammons & Partners
A Vision of Marion Square
The importance of maintaining a sense of place in the infill and new development in our historic cities and neighborhoods is essential. With our beloved historic American city of Charleston, we all are aware of the ongoing debate on how to treat new infill. A primary area of Charleston requiring a vision for the future is Marion Square, a great urban space framed by historic buildings as well as vacant lots and some real unfavorable architecture. The distinguished firm of Fairfax-Sammons has given the city a blueprint for the future, one that can ensure the special character of Charleston. Through the use of a photographic inventory of historic and existing views alongside engaging renderings of sensitive infill and remodeling, the city has been given an inspiring image of what Marion Square could be. They have offered an exuberance of character and functional urbanity. One infill project is slowly taking shape and we hope to live to see the entire vision become a reality.
The Kennedy Warren, South Wing, Addition & Renovation
This famed Kennedy-Warren Apartment Building on Connecticut Avenue in Washington, D.C., is one of our great monuments of the Art Deco style. It was designed by Joseph Younger and dates from the 1930’s. However, construction was halted during the Depression when only two-thirds of the vast complex had been completed. It was supposed to be symmetrical but the south wing was never built.
The current project called for restoring the finishes in the public rooms of the original section, enhancing its entrance, and completing the complex according to Younger’s original design, the drawings for which were intact. This seemed obvious and desirable, but surprisingly it became controversial. When the owner applied for the historic rehabilitation tax credits, the National Park Service said the new addition of the south wing was too close stylistically to the original building, and therefore, the public couldn’t distinguish old from new. The Park Service also said the addition complicated the familiar historic view of the original building. This is the triumph of theory over fact and an outstandingly sensible and wonderfully executed project. According to Calder Loth, after visiting the site, one may not exactly be sure which of these interiors are original and which are in the new wing. But I love being fooled.
Residential Small Single Family
D. Stanley Dixon Architect, Inc.
This gem of a house is located in the prestigious Buckhead area of Atlanta. Although titled by the designer as French Provincial, it’s a bit more sophisticated than provincial. It is what Calder Loth calls,”_Petit Noblesse,_ a kind of Pavillion Intime that you would find on a great estate.” For less than 4,000 square feet, it makes the most of a very narrow lot, hardly wider than the house itself. The poised façade opens into an oval hall flanked by a dining room, and an incredibly suave study. The kitchen makes you want to try every Julia Child recipe, or even attempt to make one! Beyond the hall is an airy, beamed-ceiling living room extending the width of the house. Lovely French doors lead you to an atrium-like space dominated by an inviting pool. At the opposite end is a lounging pavilion that draws your eye to a sculpture and to the wooded backdrop beyond. This dwelling is a mini-masterpiece.
Residential – Single Family 4,000 – 10,000 Square Feet
Victoria Architects & Urbanists, Inc.
Ca’Liza de la Guardia
This well-informed, new interpretation of a Palladian villa, the Ca’ Liza, is located on Old Fort Bay in the Bahamas. In such a place, waterfront is at a premium, so the designers have made the most of a very narrow lot. In its elevation, one can see references to numerous Palladian-villa designs, but not mistake if for a copy; it’s an original adaptation. In fact, one could slip this elevation drawing into Palladio’s Quattro Libri and few would know the difference.
The entrance façade has an integral loggia a la Palladio’s Villa Pisani or Emo and the ocean side has a projecting portico reminiscent of the Villa Cornaro. With the tropical climate, one has an airy indoor-outdoor relationship on both sides. The interiors have Italian-style patrician restraint.
All Calder Loth could say is was, “I want to make friends with the owners. What a place to escape from February!” Congratulations to the firm of De la Guardia Victoria Architects and Urbanists of Coral Gables, Florida for creating a work of architecture for which both Shutze and Palladio would be proud.
Residential – Over 10,000 Square Feet
Fairfax, Sammons & Partners
How encouraging to know that there is yet a market for outstanding traditional country mansions, that preservationists of the future will want to secure. The firm of Fairfax-Sammons has given us another winner with their design for Farmlands, the focal point of a 600-acre wooded estate near Cooperstown, New York.
The design incorporates the best qualities of the Colonial Revival style. It draws inspiration from our 18th century heritage to create a work that is uniquely American in the best sense. We can see references to numerous historic buildings in this otherwise original composition; it particularly recalls the mansion Woodlands, in Philadelphia, which is currently a somewhat shabby cemetery office.
What makes Farmlands special is not only its gracious design, but its superb craftsmanship seen especially on its interiors. The library, with its custom gun case, and the dining room, with its exquisite view of Lake Otsego from the Palladian window, would make it difficult to concentrate on a meal. Right down to the last detail, the Tower of the Winds order, elegantly crafted for the mantel columns, makes this property truly a masterpiece.
Residential – Over 10,000 Square Feet
David Jones Architects
This special work of traditional architecture, named a Georgian Manor, is not exactly an original composition. In its elevation it is almost an exact replica of Mount Pleasant, a famous colonial villa in Philadelphia’s Fairmount Park. This award stresses that it’s perfectly permissible to copy: a good idea is worth repeating so long as you do it carefully, faithfully, and with proper materials.
Shutze was a master at copying in cases where he determined it to be the best approach, especially on his interiors, but he always put his own particular stamp on his copies. Indeed, few copies are exact reproductions, including the Georgian Manor. Mount Pleasant itself is quite small, whereas the central section of the new Georgian Manor is nearly twice the size in its floor plan. Mount Pleasant also has no connecting wings to its dependencies as the new house does.
The rear elevation is subtly different from Mount Pleasant’s. The interiors take features from Mount Pleasant but assemble them in different ways. They provide an appropriate setting for an important collection of antiques and Philadelphia-style furniture. So it’s a pleasure to commend David Jones yet again for this neo-masterpiece, one that honors one of America’s great architectural landmarks.