Archive for the 'Architects' Category

Our Modern Shed at

The shed we designed for our client with the modern glass house was posted on If you like Scott LePage’s photo, please give us your vote.

The Architects Show (Save the Date)

From AIA Westchester + Hudson Valley:

The 600+ member American Institute of Architects Westchester + Hudson Valley Chapter is pleased to announce a three day event featuring an exhibition of architectural work by member firms and an exposition showcasing products available in our regional marketplace. The event is titled “The Architects Show” and will be open to the general public as a vehicle to present the work of area architects and highlight the professional services they provide to the region. “The Architects Show” will be held at the Westchester County Center, Central Avenue, White Plains and will commence with an opening reception on the evening of April 7th, 2011 for AIA members, invited guests, and participating sponsors.

The exhibit and exposition will be open to the general public Thursday, April 7 through Saturday, April 9. In addition to the display of Architect’s work “The Architects Show” will feature a building products and construction services exposition, bringing together consultants, product manufacturers, and construction service providers to highlight the latest, state of the art products and services in the building industry.

“The Architects Show” will also include:

  • An exhibition of student work from metropolitan area architectural schools and information on the academic architectural programs available in the area.
  • Special interactive events for the public including an “Ask the Architects” question-and-answer session with a panel of architects, and hands-on displays and information centers on how to select and work with an Architect.
  • Opportunities to talk directly with product manufacturers on the latest energy efficient building products and their use as part of sustainable design solutions in residential and commercial building projects.
  • Continuing education classes for design professionals

For more information click on the below:

General Public Press Release
Chapter members Exhibit information
EXPO information

Event Schedule:

April 6 (Wednesday): Event Setup
April 7 (Thursday, 12 noon – 10 pm): Opening Night
April 8 (Friday, 10 – 6 pm): Exhibition/CES Courses
April 9 (Saturday, 10 – 6 pm): Exhibition/CES Courses/Panel Discussion
April 10 (Sunday): Event Breakdown

Additional information is available from:

Valerie Brown
Executive Director AIA Westchester + Hudson Valley
Telephone 914.232.7240

Jen’s Community at Wildcliff

Our latest project… a new LEED certified restoration of an 1850′s Alexander Jackson Davis Gothic Revival manor house overlooking Long Island Sound. It’s the future home to Jen’s Community at Wildcliff; a new sustainable, nature-based nursery school.

Check out our facebook for more images; vintage photos and current conditions.

Stay tuned for updates and progress.

Usonia For Sale

When our clients came from Brooklyn to the idyll of Frank Lloyd Wright’s Usonia community here Pleasantville, they fell instantly for the Aaron Resnick-designed house they found on Orchard Brook Road.  With a bold composition and blurred transition between inside and outside, they new they had found something very special.

Over the next eight years, they meticulously restored and respectfully enhanced the original house.

Bjorn Slate, Fivecat Studio‘s Director of Architectural Services, had the privilege to work with them on an exterior renovation. The project included straightening and reinforcing the house’s deep pronounced roof projection, swapping out inadequate pipe columns under the “cantilever” with new i-beam columns and steel-rod X-bracing, and adding a new Ipe deck overlooking Usonia’s thick green forest of trees.

Our friends are moving on, and we’re sad to see them go, but we’re grateful to have had the unique opportunity to work on such a wonderful example of mid-century modern architecture.

For more information on the house, or to inquire about it’s purchase, visit Houlihan Lawrence broker, Tom Goddard at

Bucky Fuller and his Amazing Geodesic Dome


Thanks Scott

FLOAT House by Morphosis

Problem: Provide housing in flood prone regions.

Solution: Homes that float, when necessary.

From Morphopedia:

The FLOAT House optimizes the efficiency of mass-production, while respecting New Orleans’s unique culture and context. The Ninth Ward’s colorful vernacular houses, which local residents have traditionally modified and personalized over time, reflect the community’s vibrant culture. The FLOAT House grows out of the indigenous typology of the shotgun house, predominant throughout New Orleans and the Lower Ninth Ward. Like a typical shotgun house, the FLOAT House sits atop a raised base. This innovative base, or “chassis,” integrates all mechanical, electrical, plumbing and sustainable systems, and securely floats in case of flooding. Inspired by GM’s skateboard chassis, which is engineered to support several car body types, the FLOAT House’s chassis is designed to support a variety of customizable house configurations.

Read more.


Bob is a friend of mine from architecture school. He designed and built the FernHouse, featured last week on the Tiny House blog.


Bob Swinburne an Architect from Brattleboro, Vermont wrote to share with me his unique structure called the The FernHouse.

The FernHouse is named for the sea of ferns it floats on for a few months during the Vermont summer.  It started out as a tent platform but inspiration hit and the project developed into something more.

Read more.

Fivecat Studio: To Best Serve Our Clients

Fivecat Studio is positioning itself as Westchester County’s leading provider of residential design and construction services. If you are a long-time reader of my blog, you have taken this journey with us.

When Annmarie and I launched Fivecat Studio in 1999, we wanted to build a great and enduring company that would long outlast the two of us. We planned a firm with a culture that was friendly, professional and truly passionate about the creation of residential architecture; a firm that would serve our clients well with exceptional design and superior service. Ten years later, I think we have done just that.

We have a dedicated staff of project managers and office support, each associate working to provide the best possible client experience. We enjoy working together, have many common interests and respect one another as professionals. It is fun to be in the studio. The creative environment we have established has lead to dozens of successful projects.

As a team, our goal is to develop ways in which we can best serve each client.

In 2009, we launched Construction Management Services in response to client requests for a single source, responsible for the entire construction project. With more control over our projects, we can better maintain quality, manage schedules and control costs. Our Construction Management Service has been a great success.

Bjorn Slate, AIA

This past month, we made another big change at Fivecat Studio. Bjorn Slate, AIA has been appointed to the position of Director of Architectural Services. Read the official press release here.

As a Project Manager, Bjorn has assisted in the development of many of our project management systems. Now as our new Director of Architectural Services, Bjorn will lead the day-to-day operations of the design studio and oversee the successful completion of every Fivecat Studio project. His design skills, project management experience and respected leadership will take Fivecat Studio to the next level and allow us to best serve our clients.

Bjorn’s new position will allow me to focus on business development, operational systems and customer service. In other words, my job is to continue to build Fivecat Studio into the great and enduring company that it is destined to be, and to make certain that each client is happy… at all times.

As we have done since we started, Annmarie and I will continue to be involved in every Fivecat project. In fact, our studio has been structured in a way that each project is a collaborative effort. Each project is lead by a dedicated Project Manager, but through a formal peer review program, as well as continuous informal critiques, each project benefits from the influence and unique knowledge of each member of the Fivecat team.

A healthy, thriving business is one that continues to grow and evolve. With a dedicated team, a list of exceptional clients and a culture of respect and success, even through the tumult of the past year, Fivecat Studio has grown, evolved and succeeded in its mission… to best serve our clients.

It is very exciting to be part of such an organization.

Frank Gehry: The Houses

He has created art museums that have put little known cities on the cultural map and penned designs for quarter-billion dollar concert halls. Most famous for his metallic paneled sculptures of flamboyant architecture, Frank Gehry has also designed his fair share of houses. In fact, his own home in Santa Monica, CA is the project that brought him into the now blinding “starchitect” spotlight.

In October, architecture and design publishing house, Rizzoli released a new monograph dedicated to the simpler residential side of the world famous architect. It’s on my wish list.

Living Well Link of the Week: Frank Gehry: The Houses

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AIAWMH Design Awards… With Pictures!

A few weeks back my team and I attended the AIA Westchester / Mid-Hudson annual design awards, A Celebration of Architecture. It was held at ArtsWestchester (formerly Westchester Arts Council) in the heart of downtown White Plains. Attendance was excellent. The enthusiasm and “celebration” of our profession was inspiring.

This year, in addition to the awards ceremony and usual cocktail “gala” which follows, the chapter (specifically Ira Grandberg and his team) organized an exhibition of Westchester Mid-Hudson architects’ work. Dozens of firms participated and it was very interesting to see the diverse and varied architecture created by our local talent. The Celebration of Architects exhibition was a great success, but I think the week’s end three day duration was WAY too short for it to have any significant effect on the general public (just my 2 cents).

Unfortunately, the design awards ceremony was less than inspiring. A last minute malfunction of the video projector left an audience of 250+ without a visual presentation to accompany barely audible project descriptions and sometimes lengthy acceptance speeches. What is a design awards presentation without visuals? Although I feel the overall event was a success, the missing presentation was beyond disappointing for the attendees and probably even more so for the honored firms. (As a former chapter Director, I sympathize with the members responsible for the glitch. I appreciate the effort required to stage such an event and the disappointment they must have felt as well.)

Today, the chapter released an online slide show presentation of the honored projects. I send out a much deserved congratulations to the firms that received awards. The architecture and design presented is as inspiring as the enthusiasm felt throughout that ballroom a few weeks back.


Above Photo:

Headquarters for Mackenzie Keck Construction, Inc., Rockaway, NJ
Category: Commercial
Architect: de la Garza Architecture LLC
Photographer: Deck Higgins Photography / Randhir Singh

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