Alice Washburn Awardees

2021AliceWashburnLogocropped

The Alice Washburn Award is named for the distinguished Connecticut designer and builder of the 1920’s, largely self-taught, whose work is known for her thoughtful stylistic and programmatic invention.  Focusing on style: the program acknowledges excellence in traditional house design through the thoughtful adaptation of tradition to address 21st-century needs. Works are to be located in Connecticut and designed in a style broadly considered as “traditional”.

2022 Alice Washburn Jury 

Michael Crosbie, FAIA
University of Hartford

Carla Goodknight, AIA, NCARB
CJ Architects

Tracy Kozak, AIA
ARCove Architects, LLC

New Construction

 

and  for Sustainability

New England Shingle Style Residence | Charles Hilton Architects
Woodruff/Brown Architectural Photography

Comprised of approximately 10,180 s.f., this house is laid out in a linear fashion to take advantage of its setting. From the front door, one enters the wainscoted Entry Hall with its flush board and beamed ceiling and a stairway composed of three types of alternating custom balusters, spiral fluted corner posts, and deeply carved starting newels. Having finishes complementary to those of the Entry Hall, the Living and Dining Rooms enjoy unobstructed views of Sound and convenient circulation throughout the first floor and to the porches. The Kitchen and adjacent Breakfast Bay act as a hinge between the main house and its angled wing. Upstairs, an extensive Master Suite and four family bedroom suites are supplemented by a sixth over the garage with private outdoor access. This house’s traditional character is complemented by contemporary comforts through the use of geothermal HVAC, a super-insulated spray foam building envelope, high performance low-E glazing., LED lighting and a state-of-the art electrical/heat co-generation system.

Jury Comments: Authenticity is front and center in the architectural style and details of this design. The high quality of workmanship and the inclusion of new technologies to further sustainability are notably impactful. The details are amazing on the exterior and exterior. A beautiful achievement.

 

Linden Shore Retreat | Joseph Sepot Architects
Dennis M. Carbo Photography

This year-round retreat is located in the private waterfront community of Linden Shore in historic Indian Neck. Recently completed, the new design maximizes interior living space, while the exterior of the cottage and detached two-car garage radiate charm and classic detailing traditionally found in vintage 19th century cottages.

Protecting the north-facing front entry is a gable-shaped canopy with a standing-seam metal roof supported by decorative wooden brackets. The footprint of the house is long and narrow due to local zoning restrictions. In order to reduce its horizontal massing, the exterior of the home is differentiated by a mixture of building materials including painted board and batten siding and stained cedar shingles.

Jury Comments: Well-proportioned, clean, simple lines. Highly efficient use of space and effective daylighting. A delightful retreat, scaled to a laid-back day at the beach. Great things come in small packages!

and for Sustainability

Connecticut Riverfront House | Centerbrook Architects and Planners
Peter Aaron/OTTO

This new 4,800-square-foot private residence is located on the Connecticut River, replacing a 1730’s mixed-style house that burnt to the ground in 2018. Because the latest shoreline codes required that any reconstruction be built almost a story above the original, the new house needed to be massed vertically. Therefore, the house is rendered in an Italianate style echoing other houses nearby and throughout the lower Connecticut River valley. Its apparently traditional materials are modern and more durable than the original. These include siding, trim, and windows, as well as details like light fixtures and door hardware.

Jury Comments: This design is respectful of the original history, well detailed and proportioned, adapts the old to present day use, and is effectively sustainable. Particularly appreciate the creative use of daylighting.

 

Hilltop English Country | Douglas VanderHorn Architects
Robert Benson Photography and Daniel Milstein Photography

Atop a hill in Darien, CT is a newly constructed stone English country cottage style home. It features generous glazing at bay windows, arch-top French doors, porches and balconies, all capitalizing on an exceptional view of the Long Island Sound.

The 6300 S.F. home starts with a graveled courtyard embraced by an approachable garage wing detailed with heavy timber brackets and extended roof overhang. A characterful stone arch enhances the front door. Another stone arch in the integrated garden wall entices interest around the home to the rear lawn. There, one can appreciate the view over treetops to the Long Island Sound below and observe the less formal rear facade. Stucco and half-timbering allows a vocabulary of varied forms to open up most rooms with plenty of glass while evoking a centuries old dwelling added to over time.

Jury Comments: Stone has never looked so light and airy. This house is so well-wed to its landscape. It creates spaces outside that echo the architecture of the house. The unique nature of each interior space is admirable.

Additions/Renovations

 

Connecticut River House | Robert Orr & Associates LLC
Peter Aaron and Francis Dzikowski of OTTO

The Connecticut River House is a compound of three buildings (combined living area, 3,682 SF) and seven gardens on a ¼-acre site flanking the Connecticut River. The house is snuggled amongst other houses, which define a Main Street narrow enough that one can walk down the center of charming Essex Village, dubbed “The Perfect Small Town” and one of the few American towns ever attacked by a foreign power on April 8, 1814.

The narrow 330-foot-long site slopes 18 feet from Main Street south to the Connecticut River.
Built (1843) in the Greek Revival Style, the house “suffered” 6 unsympathetic gut renovations, inside and out, by different owners during previous 10 years. Almost nothing remained of the original house. "Home Depot" fit out, inside and out.

We enjoyed close collaboration with the owners, builders, landscape designer, skilled artisans, and decorators. The process was a true partnership by all parties.

Jury Comments: Well-scaled and arranged with impeccable attention to artistry. The sequence of humanistic experiences flow smoothly. Beautiful integration with exterior landscaping- the entire site is sensitively designed.

The Captain’s Quarters | Campaigne Kestner Architects
Russell Campaigne, AIA - Campaigne Kestner Architects

Located steps away from the historic Guilford town green, The Captain’s Quarters is a beloved 3,825 sq ft family home that was in need of a significant renovation. Over the years, many of the details of this 1863 Italianate home had been covered up or neglected, and the last significant upgrades occurred in the 1970s when an addition was constructed at the rear of the house. The second-generation owners, having grown up in the home, wanted to restore the house to its original grandeur while improving functionality and integrating modern amenities to upgrade the home for 21st century living.

New plumbing, electrical, and HVAC systems paired with upgraded insulation and new windows helped to increase the home’s efficiency and functionality, bringing it into compliance with current building codes and standards. This home is now prepared to welcome and entertain families for generations to come.

Jury Comments: A lovely restoration that brings this period house back to its glory, but updated to contemporary tastes of light and details. Updates to the HVAC system and existing insulation contribute to sustainability. A seamless rehabilitation.

Reclaimed Contemporary House | Saniee Architects LLC
David Sundberg-ESTO

We set out to create a new, fresh, energy efficient home that would appeal to high end residential buyers while utilizing much of what had already existed. The project proves the point that there is a healthy market for speculative modern homes. Further by using the existing structure and creating a high-efficient performing new home, we appeal to the buyers who want to be responsible towards the environment. The reduction in carbon footprint is not only in the use of new materials or in energy efficient insulation or mechanical systems; reusing old foundations and walls also reduces consumption of resources while saving significant construction costs. This makes it doubly attractive to both the developers and potential buyers.

A small addition was made to the house in the rear and the exterior terrace was replaced with a wood deck. The house appearance was transformed with the use of new skin and windows. The entry was moved, and the entire house layout altered and rethought.

Jury Comments: A wonderful revival of a 1970s home. This minimalist approach elevates the original design concept and quality. Congratulations to the team that recognized this “diamond in the rough”!

and for Interior Design

Countryside Residence | Charles Hilton Architects
Robert Benson Photography

 

 

Our clients, a couple with children, purchased a 1920s English-Georgian-Colonial hybrid on a parcel that was part of a Rockefeller estate. Giving it a classic English country house vibe could have been an easy and expected route. Yet, our client’s youthful verve is integrated into every facet of the home. Bold flourishes and grand gestures, like the brilliant color palette, the sweeping mural in gallery/stairwell, and the incorporation of global influences, keep this home from being stodgy or sedate.

Jury Comments: Delightful and creative use of details, textures, and color to blend the past with present. The interior design elements are bold, unique, and suited to the style of the architecture. 

Shoreline Cottage | Joseph Sepot Architects
Dennis M. Carbo Photography

Located in the heart of Pine Orchard, this 1890s cottage had undergone numerous additions and alterations over the years. To reveal its original historic structure, all subsequent additions were removed during renovation. Furthermore, the owners expressed their wish for the home's redesign to properly reflect the neighborhood’s shoreline character. Additionally, it was important to address the function of each space to better meet their family's lifestyle needs and to repair all structural issues that had been neglected.

Jury Comments: Wonderful revival of this little cottage. Corrects many of the original design mistakes and clumsy details. Nice use of materials.

for Sustainability

1850 Greek Revival with Guest Cottage | J.P. Franzen Associates Architects, P.C.
Neil Landino Photography

This project involved the renovation of a large antique 1850 home along with an accessory 1950 Cottage and connected barn. The property was one of this town’s original farms overlooking Long Island Sound and one of its estuaries.

The nearby cottage (a mini-replica of Mt. Vernon) was in very bad shape and required a major renovation. An opportunity also presented itself to landscape the area between the two main structures to create more outdoor living area.

The interior of the main house kitchen was gutted and reconfigured. Ancillary pantry, laundry and mud room spaces were redesigned and repositioned. A sitting area was created as part of the larger kitchen with large glass pocket sliders leading to the new porch.

Jury Comments: A thoughtful rehabilitation. The description of this project suggests a great deal of work in repair and restoration. Updates to the HVAC system and existing insulation contribute to sustainability.

Accessory Buildings

Out-building with Indoor Pool | J.P. Franzen Associates
Neil Landino Photography

This project was a longtime plan of the owners. They wanted a recreation barn large enough to accommodate an “endless pool” and gym. The main house on the property was designed and built by locally renowned “master builder” Carl Gunther, self-taught in the Colonial Revival idiom. The site, in back-country Fairfield near the main house with attached garage, dictated a building of modest scale. The 1,150 sq’ structure was positioned to orient the pool away from the road with the gym to the front. The sheltered entry faces the main house kitchen doorway.

Jury Comments: An innovative approach to continuing a historic structure. Clean, simple lines inside and out are indicative of this structure’s primary purpose. Sustainability creatively considered from many angles.

 

PAST ALICE WASHBURN AWARD RECIPIENTS