Monday, October 2, 2023

Alice Washburn Awardees


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”.

2023 Alice Washburn Jury

Rick Nelson, AIA
Architecture Practice Leader
Knickerbocker Group
Portland, ME

Patrick Pinnell, FAIA CNU APA
Architecture & Town Planning, LLC
Higganum, CT

John Priestley, AIA
Owner and Architect
Priestley Architecture
Rockport, ME

New Construction


Mid-Country Manor | VanderHorn Architects
Peter Brown Architectural Photography (exteriors),
Robert Benson Photography (interiors)

The architectural detailing and brickwork of this 12,000 S.F Greenwich CT English Arts & Crafts manor take center stage, highlighting its elegant proportions.

The project began with a hundred-year old carriage house previously converted to a 3600 S.F. home. The clients happily raised their family there but dreamed of a larger estate, to entertain and welcome back now grown children and families. Carefully detailed materials and forms merge seamlessly with the historic carriage house and follow the client’s favorite Edwin Lutyens designs and Edwardian English Arts and Crafts precedents.

Jury comments: Alice Washburn's spirit raised to the nth power. Superb, beautiful, classic design with nice, and sometimes surprising, detailing.

Connecticut River Shingle | VanderHorn Architects
Robert Benson Photography

Just beyond one of the lower Connecticut River Valley’s most charming historic villages is this 8,500 square feet shingle-style home, designed to take advantage of its challenging site and river views. The house is situated on a steep hillside, and between it and the river is an expanse of lowland with ponds.

Jury comments: Faithful shingle-style creation, well executed inside and out.


Tudor Revival | Haver & Skolnick Architects
Robert Benson Photography

In 1931, Connecticut Architect Walter P. Crabtree, Jr. was commissioned to create a picturesque Tudor Revival manor within a neighborhood of distinguished period homes.  To further the illusion of antiquity, Crabtree specified wavy irregular brickwork and roof slates which were intentionally cracked and slipped.  For the interior he composed a series of gracious rooms featuring oak ceiling beams, slate floors, and thick plaster arches.

Ninety years later, the current owners sought to honor Crabtree’s original vision by removing a 1970’s flat-roofed Family Room addition and replacing it with a wing worthy of the home.  They also envisioned replacing an undistinguished later kitchen with one which would blend seamlessly with the original rooms.

Jury comments: Magnificent! Executed with restraint and respect for the original structure. Interiors show a nice handling of traditional spacial concepts with sympathetic contemporary finishes and detailing.

Accessory Buildings

Pool House | J.P. Franzen Associates Architects, P.C.
Neil Landino, Landino Photo, LLC.,
Ann Franzen

This 600 SF Cabana situated in a garden compound on the Northeast corner of a two acre property was conceived as a Scandinavian “Sommarstuga" to draw family functions (except for sleeping) outdoors and to the water during the warmer months. The stuccoed Cabana which opens completely on one side, facing the main dwelling, pays homage to that 95 year old structure originally designed and occupied by the Swedish architect Louis Rosenberg.

To lessen the impact of the project, the scope includes a massive storm water retention system as it borders sensitive wetlands. The system cycles water from new impervious surfaces (paved and roofed areas) into buried infiltrators. As the property is situated downslope from an abutting road and neighboring residential properties which have little or no water quality enhancements, it is doubly important to manage the water that originates on site. Also with an objective of sustainability, the structure is insulated with a combination of closed and open cell foam. The HVAC system is a 22.2 SEER electric heat pump.

Jury comments: Simple, clean, comfortable. Taut, restrained use of traditional details produced an elegant, memorable little edifice.

for Expressive Exterior

Gold Residence | Duo Dickinson Architect
Mark Adams

As part of a coastal home, an existing garage was built hard by a salt marsh, before zoning or FEMA and new owners wanted a separate residence for a visiting relative on the site. The existing garage was changed to have a new second floor above the three-car garage, plus a new covered terrace below a tower office space. Combine that development with a new pool that was set to address a fantastic salt marsh, and a new complex was created using the garage’s existing footprint.

Jury comments: Playful and inventive, with just enough traditional expression and verticality to relate to the main house.