Palladio Awards 2011
Beachtown House was one of nine projects recognized in the 2011 Palladio Awards.
Named in honor of renaissance architect Andrea Palladio, the awards honor exemplars of traditional design that "meet the functional needs of contemporary usage while applying lessons learned from previous generations to create beauty in the built environment." Coproduced by Traditional Building and Period Homes magazines, the program recognizes restorations, sympathetic additions, and new construction projects.
South Carolina Steeple
The risk of hurricanes also shaped the design of the new steeple at the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist in Charleston, South Carolina.
The cathedral was completed in 1907 without its intended steeple due to lack of funds. A hundred years later, Glenn Keyes Architects designed a new 82-foot- (25-meter-) tall steeple that incorporates elements from the existing building, such as a Celtic cross, and a stone chalice recreated in copper.
The addition of a tall structure atop the historic gothic-revival building presented the risk of overturning in a hurricane, especially due to the building's insubstantial foundation and the site's poor soil conditions.
To avoid limiting the height of the steeple, the architects designed it with an open lantern level and open copper-mesh spire to allow air to flow through, thus minimizing wind loads.
The weight of the new construction also had to be minimized to reduce the effects of wind loads on the historic structure. Drawing on the expertise of the general contractor, which happened to have a yacht-building subsidiary, the team employed the technology of cold-mold construction used in boat-building.
Engineered wood boxes built of marine-grade plywood and epoxy, and encapsulated in fiberglass, serve as a strong, inert substrate for the copper and cast-stone cladding used for the steeple exterior, with an embedded steel frame providing the structure.
The project also included restoration of the cathedral's brownstone exterior.
DuPont Mansion Restoration
Far to the northeast, John Milner Architects designed the restoration of an early-1900s home on a grand scale: the Nemours Mansion in Wilmington, Delaware.
Completed in 1910, the 47,000-square-foot (4,400-square-meter) mansion was built for Alfred I. du Pont — then a part-owner and vice president of E. I. du Pont de Nemours and Company, better known as DuPont — and his second wife, Alicia. Mr. du Pont engaged architecture firm Carrère and Hastings to design the residence in the style of a late-18th-century French chateau.
The central 225-acre (91-hectare) core of the estate — including the mansion, formal French gardens, woodlands, meadows, accessory buildings, and numerous decorative site structures ("follies") — now forms the public Nemours Mansion & Gardens.
The three-story mansion is a pink stucco masonry building dressed with Indiana limestone, with a slate roof. Other key architectural features of the estate's buildings include copper flashings, ornamental wood and iron embellishments, and clay-tile roofs. The five-level mansion interior includes such elaborate finishes as marble flooring, quartersawn English oak, decorative plaster, ironwork, stained glass, and polychromed finishes.
The Nemours Foundation undertook a restoration of both structures and landscape in 2004 to address deterioration and inappropriate alterations. To address years of moisture infiltration in the basement levels, all the foundation walls were exposed at the exterior to allow installation of a complete below-grade waterproofing system.
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