Closter New Jersey
This is our house--our dream “inner sanctum” that has come to represent a refuge from a day filled with noise, traffic jams, police sirens, crowds and mega LCD screens.
The property was large enough for a “horse shoe” layout design which was built around the existing house. I tried to incorporate my memories from Sucevita and Voronet monasteries and from my travels visiting the vestige of “Villa Romana del Casale” in piazza Armerina and even the Cloisters in New York.
After the demolition of the old house we obtained a heavenly interior garden courtyard. The next challenge was to achieve a “European Collage” for the exterior look, dressing up a hacienda layout to blend into the New England Architectural fabric. The façade of the house is inspired by the Tudor manor style with an Austrian-Dutch roof over the mansard and turrets. The materials used were natural stone, solid wood timber details, and rough stucco for the “bastions.”
Green design also had its impact: The 1,000 sq ft plant conservatory allows for an efficient transfer of hot and cool air as well as an infusion of oxygen. The natural stone comes from a local supplier, the faux slate roof is made from recycled tires and the timber used for all the details was milled from construction site clearings. The new 6 bedroom house appears majestic, yet blends into the streetscape. It is next door to a beautiful 2nd Empire Victorian with hex-cut slate roof. Depending on the season and light, there is an intrinsic, interchangeable relationship between exterior and interior space. Some traditional elements are also reflected in the design. My goal was to create a design in which architectural style became an exchange of aesthetic details between the old and new world, giving birth to a new international hybrid.