James Dixon Architect PC Wins Top Honors

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“Barn” Pool House by Architect James Dixon Wins American Institute of Architects Award for Excellence in Design

A pool pavilion designed to resemble a group of traditional farm buildings in Litchfield County, CT has earned the architecture firm James Dixon Architect PC a Design Excellence Award from the American Institute of Architects. The prize is one of only three such awards given by the Eastern New York Chapter of the AIA in 2010.

The Design Awards Jury praised the incorporation of sleek, contemporary interior features into a classic barn form, saying, “It is an elegant marriage of the timber frame with well-proportioned and organized modern elements.” The Jury also noted that the building, “exhibits a lovely clarity of form and detail, based on the traditional rural farm vernacular.”

The pool pavilion features an exposed, custom-designed timber frame built with reclaimed antique beams. Steel-and-glass doors open on three sides of the building to catch breezes and take full advantage of the changing light throughout the day. A large screened porch provides spectacular views of the surrounding countryside. When seen from a distance, the project resembles a group of farm buildings, but with the sliding doors open, the pavilion has a streamlined, modern flair. The result is a structure versatile enough to accommodate children in wet swimsuits by day and a poolside candlelit dinner by night.

“Our designs always strive to be sensitive to both the site and local traditions, while providing the modern amenities clients want,” said James Dixon, AIA, principal of the firm. “For example, using a frame crafted from reclaimed wooden beams not only adds a satisfying patina to the building, it also increases the sustainability of the project,”
The Design Excellence Award was presented earlier this month at a ceremony in Troy, New York hosted by Patrick J. Quinn, the distinguished Professor Emeritus and former Dean of Architecture at Rensselaer Polytechnic. A total of twelve awards were presented, including five Awards of Merit and four Honorable Mentions.

“It’s always nice to be recognized by your peers, and we’re honored to receive this award from the American Institute of Architects,” said Dixon. “We had a great team of consultants, and together we created a project that our clients are extremely happy with.”

Dixon brought in noted landscape architect Dirk W. Sabin to design the adjacent gardens and develop a master plan for the 200 acre estate. Sabin was instrumental in establishing a view shed clearing to distant Lake Waramaug. His whimsical outbuildings complement the pavilion, while disguising the pool equipment.

The custom steel and glass doors were hand built by Peter Kirkiles of PKDF in Kent, CT. “Peter was terrific,” added Dixon. “Some of the doors are sixteen feet high, not something one can just pick up at a local hardware store. He transformed our ideas into tangible works of art.

About James Dixon Architect PC
Established in 1999, James Dixon Architect PC specializes in high-end residential architecture and design, including historic preservation, apartment renovation, and new country homes for clients in New York City; Dutchess County and Columbia County, NY; Connecticut; the Berkshires; and other locations in the United States and Europe. In addition to projects for private clients, the firm is also designing a new Visitors’ Center for the historic Bowne House, which is operated by and features the collections and educational programs of the Bowne House Historical Society, and is owned by the Historic House Trust and the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation.
James Dixon Architect PC is a member of the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), and provides LEED-Accredited Professional design services. More information can be found at http://www.jdixonarchitect.com or by calling (518) 392-6800.

Images of the award-winning project can be viewed on the firm’s Web site: http://www.jdixonarchitect.com/Code/projects/poolhouse.html

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