Private Residences

Bedford Avenue

Project Manager/Designer: Robert M. Scarano jr.

Completion Date: May 2005

Location: Williamsburg


The program consists of two identical 4-bedroom apartments that are configured to accommodate the needs of an orthodox family with balconies and oversized kitchen and living room, all contained within 7,000 square feet at an anticipated construction cost of $1 million. The design approach was to create a unique building that conforms to the general characteristics of a traditional townhouse. For example, a traditional stoop is expressed through modern stone stairs at the entrance, and the recessed windows follow the line of neighboring buildings. The standard rear yard has been redesigned to slope like a "rolling green" along its full length as an exaggerated expression of an existing change in elevation between two adjacent lots. A floating glass-enclosed cube hovers over this yard to stress the tension between sloped and straight plains. The exterior finish material is a dark grey stone, the primary building material in the client's home country, and a material that ages well. The form is derived from the sculptural possibilities inherent in stone, treating the building as a stone volume to be carved out, revealing dynamic openings. The interior finishes follow the austerity of the exterior in their perception.

Crescent Street

Project Manager/Designer: Cesar Malagon

Completion Date: June 2005

Location: Kew Gardens Hills


The design of this large single family homeconstituted the combinination of two adjacent sites into one by demolishing a portion of the two existing homes and then creating an 8,000 square foot house in this predominately built-up neighborhood of Middle Village Gardens in Queens. The client's approach to their dream house was that it must be simple, elegant and tasteful, and accommodate their large family and frequently entertaining needs. The solution was a house with distinctive private and public areas that separate their social and business lives from their family life. The basement accommodates their home business of physical training, services and living quarters. The first floor is divided in two areas: the front part has the living and dinning room, which open up to eachother to create one big space. The rear portion contains a large entertaining kitchen and family room. Both areas are divided by an atrium with a grand staircase connecting to the second floor. The upper floor bedrooms are arranged around the atrium, establishing a distinctive strong center for the house. The impact of this size of house in a quiet neighborhood had to be carefully planned to prevent an overwhelming affect on surrounding homes. While volumes on the facade were pushed back, excavation and infill help to break the facade into two sections, creating a smooth visual transition between buildings. The traditional character, along with the use of brick and stone, helps to place the house in the context of the neighborhood. With careful consideration of the site conditions and the needs of the clients, the house became and elegant addition to a rather simple neighborhood. Well proportioned windows, volumes and the use of existing materials resulted in a house inspired by the mansions that were distinctive of old New York, but with the amenities and simplicity of the 21st century.

Baymeadow Lane

Project Manager/Designer: Robert M. Scarano jr.

Completion Date: November 2005

Location: Westhampton, Long Island


The client's search for a design for his new weekend residence in Westhampton presented a series of challenges. The 1.7 acre site is located in a wetland preservation area, with an unusual "L" shape restricting the building to only one possible location. The flood zone required driving deep piles and elevating the house ten feet above grade. These limitations created a ramp 200 feet long from the entrance of the site to the house. The design was dominated by a strong axis created by the long approach to the house and the extension to the canal. The house is located where the two axis meet. Although comparatively small, the house gives an illusion of grandeur. The flow of the exterior circulation is carried inside the house. Large interior spaces afford magnificent views of the property as well as intimate spaces for the owner to enjoy. The open plan for the kitchen, dining and grand room gives a relaxing, less formal atmosphere to the house. A bridge connecting to the pool area enhances the second axis to the canal with a long and easy descent to the pool and garden. Large roof eaves, oversized windows, and classical touches ground the traditional design. Careful handling of the restrictions imposed on the site, as well as its shape, helped to create a residence that not only adapts to the site's conditions, but celebrates each of them with playfulness and grace.