Architectural Arts / Craftsmanship
Fair Lane Lighting Reproduction, Dearborn, MI
Matt White, Heritage Metalworks
Fair Lane, the 1915 estate of automobile mogul Henry Ford and his wife, Clara, is one of the first historic sites to be designated a National Historic Landmark. In 2013, the property closed due to its deteriorating condition and transferred to a non-profit to manage renovation efforts. In 2015, a skilled firm was recommended by curators at Winterthur Museum and carefully selected to reproduce the lighting fixtures throughout the estate. With the original fixtures missing, archived photos were used to create accurate reproductions of the original lighting. Unfortunately, these photographs omitted the refined details. The craftsman ingeniously scaled off the room and referenced millwork, molding, and plaster work to obtain approximate dimensions of the fixtures. Concept sketches, CAD drawings, 2D cut outs, printed patterns, and 3D mock-ups were created for accurate sizing and proportions.
After development, eight Music Room Sconces and the Chandelier in the Library with matching Wall Sconces were hand sculpted and cast in brass using the lost wax/investment process to pick up refined details from that period. The Billiard Chandelier and coordinating Wall Sconces were sculpted, cast, finished by simulating “gold” ormolu, and fabricated with hand blown glass shades. Finally, twelve Pool Fixtures were cast, fabricated with brass backplates, and antiqued with precise highlights to emphasize details captured in the original fixtures. With diligent research, a focus on the fine details, and the master craftspeople who execute it all, this project is proof that impeccable architectural craftsmanship is crucial in preserving and protecting our most prestigious landmarks.
Architectural Arts / Craftsmanship
Chara Aurora Cooper Haas Pipe Organ Facade, Bryn Athyn, PA
Historic Doors, LLC
The Bryn Athyn Cathedral is a notable Gothic-Romanesque church building designed by Cram and Ferguson in the early twentieth century for the General Church of the New Jerusalem in Bryn Athyn, Pennsylvania.
Historic Doors LLC was commissioned to design woodwork for a new pipe organ façade that would fill two adjacent pointed arches in the transept of the building, each measuring 8’ wide by 25’ tall. Two secondary arches within the buttressed side aisles were also part of the project scope. Design sensibilities respecting the building’s inherent geometries, proportions and symbolism were
critical to maintaining the building’s architectural integrity. Also important was the use of materials
and joinery methods that would add to the craft tradition inherent in the cathedral’s wood, stone and
stained glass construction and ornamentation.
Approximately 14,000 lineal feet of White Oak lumber was used to fabricate the various components, almost all of which became bent laminations in traditional Gothic tracery patterns. Once the design was determined, the woodwork was fabricated in our shop in Kempton, PA. Historic Doors also coordinated the installation within the Cathedral. Design was begun in September 2012, and the project was completed in September 2014.
The College of Physicians, Philadelphia, PA
Eberlein Design Consultants
Founded in 1787, the College of Physicians of Philadelphia has an enlightened mission to advance and uphold the ideals and heritage of medicine with an unparalleled medical library. In 1928, Cope & Stewardson designed this dignified building to house its libraries, research areas, reading rooms, and extensive archives and galleries. But over the years, financial constraints lead to a pronounced deterioration of the physical facilities and threatened the irreplaceable collection. We implemented a long-term restoration addressing both the majestic public spaces, as well as the gallery-like research libraries that permeate every space. This unique facility advances the College’s mission but has also grown to serve the community with special events, prestigious lectures, and rotating curated exhibitions.
Restoration needed to be flexible enough to accommodate the expanding outreach efforts while maintaining authenticity in the restoration of historic paint schemes, stone mantels, tile mosaics, quarter-sawn oak paneling, original windows, and ornamental plaster. Of particular importance was the introduction of nearly invisible environmental controls to safeguard precious books, manuscripts, and works of art. Additional challenges included integrating task lighting for staff and researchers, and acoustical treatments to accommodate the wide spectrum of needs from music for larger gatherings, to conferences, to quiet library research. Analysis of original plans revealed major circulation paths hidden for decades behind previous renovations. Now restored to the original, the graceful flow has been reestablished to maximize the function and aesthetic appeal of this important architectural treasure.
Architect: Cope & Steward Architects
Restoration Architect: Susanna Baruco
Painting: Buttonwood Painting
Christ Church Tower & Steeple, Philadelphia, PA
John Milner Architects
Christ Church, the first parish of the Church of England in Pennsylvania and birthplace of the American Episcopal Church, began construction in 1727 and was completed in 1754 with the addition of its tower and steeple. Christ Church became a National Historic Landmark in 1975 and is listed on the Philadelphia Register. The tower and steeple was one of the tallest structures in Philadelphia until the 1850s. In 2016, a hands-on exterior survey was performed, materials were probed with hand tools, and existing conditions were documented. Laser scans revealed that the tower and steeple had been leaning almost two feet due to rotting timbers and unstable load-bearing columns. To mitigate further leaning, the steeple was stabilized in place. The significant structural work included reinforcing 18th-century heavy timbers and replacing sections of diagonal bracing throughout the center section of the steeple and carefully weaving steel reinforcement within the structure. Restoration was undertaken on the Flemish bond brick exterior walls, broad wood modillioned cornices and four flaming urns decorating the top of the brick tower. The steeple’s wood tongue-and-groove sheathing boards and cedar shingles were restored or replaced as necessary. Metalwork included lead and copper flashing along with the regilding of the iconic weathervane. In 2020, the entire restoration of the brick tower and wooden steeple was completed.
General Contractor/Timber Framing & Finish Carpentry: Haverstick-Borthwick Co.
Structural Engineer: Keast & Hood
Masonry: Knapp Masonry, Inc.
Structural Steel Installation: Thomas Lindstrom & Company, Inc.
Painting: Buttonwood Company, Inc.
Architectural Conservation: Materials Conservation Co., LLC
Laser Scanning: Karins & Associates
Interior Design, non-residential
St. Patrick’s Church Interior Renovation, Kennett Square, PA
Archer & Buchanan Architecture
St. Patrick’s is a modest stone Roman Catholic church built in 1910 and located within the urban fabric of Kennett Square, Pennsylvania. Prior to their Jubilee Year, the parish began planning for renovations to be completed in time for the celebration. Within the parish, it was recognized that previous renovations had not aged well, and the historic character of the church’s interior had been badly compromised. A goal of the renovations was to beautify the interior through a design remaining true to the original Gothic details of the building and enhancing the space through new materials and finishes.
For new wall and ceiling finishes, a rich color scheme was developed that incorporated custom stencil designs emphasizing existing plaster moldings while introducing additional layers of definition and detail. For the new floor design, existing carpet was replaced with marble tile. Floor patterns articulate the layout of the space, including mosaic borders in the nave, transition borders in the sanctuary/side chapels, and custom Celtic cross floor medallions along the main aisle. New liturgical furniture pieces—a front altar, high altar with tabernacle, pulpit, and baptismal font—were custom designed with consideration of the scale of the existing sanctuary, making efficient use of the modestly sized floor plan. The details of each piece are attentive to the proportion and motifs found both in St. Patrick Church and in Gothic architecture more broadly, incorporating unique profiles and a stained wood finish to complement the bold color palette selected for the walls and ceiling.
Custom Art: Neilson Carlin
Custom Liturgical Furniture: Fynders Keepers Brokerage, LLC
Decorative Paint & Stencil: St. Jude Liturgical Arts Studio
Marble Flooring & Installation: Suburban Enterprises Terrazzo & Tile Co., Inc.
Interior Design, residential
Furness Mansion, Philadelphia, PA
Eberlein Design Consultants
Designed in 1895 by one of Philadelphia’s most important, prolific, and controversial architects of the Gilded Age, Frank Furness, The Jayne House also known as Furness Mansion has an intriguing and idiosyncratic terracotta façade that immediately expresses the unique vision of the architect. The current owners wanted to adapt the interiors for 21st-century living without losing the historical character of this masterpiece, but the design and integrity of this once-great townhouse were almost completely obliterated in successive renovations for commercial use. Left with acoustical tile ceilinged cubicle-like rooms and no extant original plans, we partnered with a team of architectural archaeologists to discover clues regarding the original layout, materials, and details from the remaining areas revealing original character. We researched plans of other Furness houses of this particular time frame to extrapolate likely scenarios. Every inch of the house was studied to restore the astonishing structure to its original use as a family residence of peerless character.
These glamorous rooms are meant to be lived in, so fragile fabrics and antique furnishings were placed strategically to extend their lifespan. Period lighting fixtures and 19th Century antiques mingle with original millwork, and a scenic mural based on country house precedents supports the breathtaking 400 square foot leaded glass skylight. We designed numerous custom light fixtures based on a single surviving example, produced wallpapers inspired by the originals, and created trompe l’oeil-stained glass compositions reminiscent of the original skylights. In the end, this historic home is now livable, touchable, and thoroughly welcoming.
Architect: John Milner Architects, Inc.
Contractor: Barry Bragin, Cherokee Construction
Lighting Designer: Gernard-Waldron Associates
New Residential Architecture (over 5,000 square ft)
Hilltop Residence, Greenville, DE
Period Architecture, Ltd.
When asked the design goals for this new residence in Delaware, the homeowner simply requested a home primed for a visit from George Washington himself. Sited on top of hill, surrounded by trees, Hilltop Residence evokes the expression of an 18th-century, Pennsylvania farmhouse that has developed over time.
The architectural details throughout the interior are reminiscent of Colonial Williamsburg homes with period millwork and traditional color palette. The exterior of the home is clad in salvaged Pennsylvania fieldstone, with reclaimed granite headers, giving life to the story of Revolutionary-era home. The layout of the main level was created to maximize the views of the exceptional posterior landscape on which it sits with nonessential rooms toward the front and main living quarters located in the rear of the home. The gracious layout, traditional detailing and natural warmth of the design has given this new home a feeling of province and has established a space even George Washington would feel at home in.
Dewson Construction Company
New Residential Architecture (under 5,000 square ft)
Chimney Hill Residence, West Chester, PA
Period Architecture, Ltd.
Inspired by Colonial Williamsburg, this Dutch-Colonial Revival home sits on full-display atop a hill next to a well-traveled thoroughfare leading into the historic borough of West Chester, Pennsylvania. A unique and welcoming challenge to the design of the property was creating two distinct frontages; one that took advantage of the prominent location, anchoring the house to the landscape, and another that created a welcoming family and guest entrance that allowed for privacy against neighboring homes. Assimilating to many homes in the region, the home’s design appears to have been added onto over the years, growing over time with the appeal and detail of an early American home. Predominance and order were given to the formal, traditional frontage with a “original”, center hall, five-bay mass. For the informal family and guest frontage, creating privacy and ease of entry was a challenge given the close adjacency of the nearby homes. The design and orientation of “additions” assists in sheltering the main mass from shared property lines while simultaneously creating a private courtyard and gardens for the family to enjoy.
Chimney Hill Residence exemplifies the architectural hierarchy by varying scale, order, and rhythm of the materials with particular attention paid to orientation, views, and transitional connectivity of indoor and outdoor spaces. The colonial revival architectural details suit the built vocabulary of this revolutionary region and provide the home a sense of history and place.
Contractor: Cassella Builders
Renovation / Sympathetic Addition (non-residential)
The Lawrenceville School Abbot Dining Hall, Lawrenceville, NJ
Voith & Mactavish Architects
The 1960’s-era dining hall accommodating the senior class at The Lawrenceville School was outdated and did not match the quality of the rest of their campus architecture. The school sought an intervention that would improve the building’s functionality, contextually blend with the campus, and create a space that reinforced a connection of “love and loyalty” between students and the school.
The west façade was completely transformed in the style of the work of Peabody & Stearns, who designed much of their historic campus, including a dormitory to the east to which the dining hall is connected. One of the most dramatic changes is the new slate roof volume above the dining room which required replacing the original flat roof with a new cathedral ceiling with glulam trusses exposed in the interior volume. The dining room is furnished with white oak furniture and booth seating and the walls are lined with high white oak paneling. There are many visual symbols to celebrate the rich history and traditions of the school. A large “L” in the center of the room is highly visible, but the floor also includes small custom brass medallions that represent school icons of significance to students and alumni. The kitchen and servery were completely redesigned to offer a much more efficient circulation flow.
With its memorabilia-lined entry hallway, lounge, and cozy side dining rooms, the dining hall now presents itself as an exclusive space for proud seniors to socialize, dine, and reflect fondly on their school years.
General Contractor: Clemens Construction
Civil Engineer: Reynolds Group, Inc.
Structural Engineer: Keast & Hood
MEP Engineer: Loring Consulting Engineers, Inc.
Cost Estimator: Becker & Frondorf
Renovation / Sympathetic Addition (residential)
Golf House Road, Haverford, PA
Peter Zimmerman Architects
This English Tudor house, built in the early 1900’s, needed refurbishing from top to bottom. An addition with a glass surrounded family room was added; taking its inspiration from an English orangery. We renovated the opposite end of the house, removing a one story addition and green house, creating a secluded study. We added a two story addition housing a family entrance, new rear stair and an elevator. New large openings infilled with steel windows and doors from the living room and dining room. Finally, we designed a pool and pool house with new terraces.
There were two additions that had been designed previously that were not sensitive to the aesthetic of the house. Our clients wanted an elevator and also wanted to get the existing back stair out of the kitchen. This element required razing the one addition. We designed a new addition that held the rear stair as well as the new elevator. The other addition, at the opposite end of the house, was a simple box with multiple structural problems. It became the office with the large custom steel arched windows.
The center hall featured a centrally located stair. Upon entering the hall from the Main Door individuals were forced right left or up. The stair was a mid-century style not at all appropriate for this house. It blocked light and views. We pushed the stair to the south facing wall and opened views to the garden and made a gracious uplifting center hall filled with light.
E. B. Mahoney Builders
Jonathan Bassman Interior Design
MEP Engineer: Loring Consulting Engineers, Inc.
Cost Estimator: Becker & Frondorf
Millbrook School, Millbrook, NY
Millbrook School in partnership with Voith & Mactavish Architects
What happens when architects and their clients evolve together over time, to the benefit of both? Millbrook School, a boarding school in Dutchess County, NY, is approaching a century on its rural campus which was historically defined by Georgian and Neocolonial buildings. In 1997, they entered into what would become an ongoing partnership with Daniela Voith and Philadelphia-based Voith & Mactavish Architects.
A new performing arts center needed to be contextually sensitive to the traditional architecture of the campus core, but with an interior full of innovative ways for students to explore their creativity. Holbrook Arts Center was the first of many projects which now total over 200,000 sf added to or renovated on their campus – and counting. VMA helped Millbrook launch their ongoing commitment to sustainability, now a defining trait, which included the construction of the Hamilton Math & Science Center, the first LEED Gold Certified educational building in the state. It is an excellent example of VMA growing and adapting as designers in response to achieving success for Millbrook. Daniela worked directly with campus leaders, including alumni and board member Gil Schafer, throughout. The latest major addition to campus was a new dining hall named in honor of Drew Casertano, Millbrook’s now-retired headmaster of thirty years who also personally involved in overseeing the campus’s development. Three consecutive campus plans have been the organizing framework for all these projects, guiding a cohesive architectural response to achieve what has often been Millbrook’s mantra: to look the same…only better.
Architects: Voith & Mactavish Architects, LLP
General Contractor: Consigli Construction
Civil Engineer: The LRC Group
Structural Engineer: The Di Salvo Engineering Group
MEP Engineer: Bruce E. Brooks & Associates
MEP Engineer: Kohler Ronan
Landscape Architect: Stephen Stimson
A School for Traditional Building Craft, unbuilt in Cincinnati, OH
Architecture is realized through building materials and their methods of assembly. Traditional craft is the necessary counterpart to architectural design which provides identity and integrity to a community through the harmony of built and natural environments. Reinstating a culture of craft through higher education will help to strengthen the dignity of skilled laborers and encourage a renewed interest in traditional architecture which cultivates pride of place and sustainability through durability.
The Lower Price Hill Historic District was developed in 1807 by Evans Price through an industry of building materials and homes for tradespeople, anchoring the project in the history and urban fabric. Because of its separation from downtown and the demise of its famous funicular, Lower Price Hill experienced disenfranchisement and was labeled an Environmental Justice Community; however, its remaining historic fabric and the presence of the K-12 Oyler School provide impetus for enlightened redevelopment. The craft school creates an opportunity to establish a satellite arts district announced by a celebrated gateway to the neighborhood. Informed by classical tradition, the dignified industrial character and the refined civic language commingle in the proposed design to create a building fit for purpose which respectfully revitalizes the resilient neighborhood. The building itself takes a philosophical stance on craft, offering a high-style version of the vernacular language while employing local materials assembled with care to produce a beautiful edifice built to last. In this way, the building is an educational tool for both its students and the public. Completed as an individual undergraduate thesis.
West Chester Market Station, West Chester, PA
Located in the seat of Chester County, the West Chester public market and regional rail station serve as anchors in an urban vision to revitalize former industrial parcels near West Chester’s historic center. To accomplish this, the proposal includes the following efforts: 1) to foster a new marketplace for exchange between farm producers, residents, and visitors; 2) to reinstate modernized SEPTA rail service on disused portions of existing rail to Philadelphia; and 3) to form the urban and green spaces needed to expand public amenities in historically underserved areas of the West
Like many towns in Southeast Pennsylvania, West Chester once boasted a network of public markets and rail infrastructure. Using this regional history as primary sources for architectural and urban precedents, this project’s development depended extensively on regional examples of both market buildings and rail stations. Additionally, by using typical materials from the area, the architectural composition seeks to imbue these modern public buildings with a sense of place and civic identity that can be easily appreciated by the community.
Underlying the project is the claim that public food markets and regional rail stations offer American communities practical ways to meet daily needs while contributing to the formation of public space and community identity. Furthermore, the project tests how these two architectural typologies can be used in combination in contemporary commuting towns to manifest the interdependence of the city and the country and to activate the potential of towns that lie between major cities and agricultural districts.
Honorable Mention – Student Project
Haverford College Bus Shelter, Haverford, PA
Austin Huber & Nicky Rhodes
The Bus Shelter is a small building that interprets historic regional architecture and traditional
construction practices in support of a contemporary program. The year-long project was the initiative
of two Haverford College sophomores who collaborated with administrators, campus environmental
groups, and regional craftsmen to build a hub for the Quaker institution’s inter-college bus network and bike-share program. The building, featuring a waiting area, bicycle storage, and bicycle maintenance station, serves hundreds of students daily.
The building’s bespoke form was inspired by Philadelphia’s eclectic late nineteenth-century regional rail stations, and its function was guided by Quaker sensibilities of simplicity and utility. The students therefore commissioned Amish carpenters from Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, to construct the traditional timber-framed shelter. This collaboration generated a richer architecture deeply rooted in place. Three distinct functional spaces step along the site’s gentle slope, housed under one asymmetrical roof that unifies the building’s massing. The roof’s slopes are relieved by carefully detailed open kingpost dormers. Pine board-and-batten siding adds rhythm and depth to the exterior. Eastern hemlock posts, beams, and angled braces are joined with hand-driven trunnels and express the honesty of their construction. The hand-sawn timber is juxtaposed by a live-edge red oak bench, which was salvaged from the historic arboretum campus.
The finished project is an effective and timeless building grounded in the College and region’s natural and architectural heritages. Greater still, this project served as a foundational experience for the two young designers, who are in the early stages of their architectural careers.
Project Supervisor & Mentor: Dave Harrower
Builder: Crickside Barns