Renovation Remedy: When You Can’t Go Bigger, Go Better

By KLAFFStyle Editorial Staff
Photography courtesy of Woodruff & Brown

Cardello Architects Creates a Stunning Solution in Greenwich

Architects David LaPierre and Robert Cardello of Norwalk-based Cardello Architects were called upon by clients to help them re-imagine a waterside stucco mansion they’d found in the exclusive Belle Haven neighborhood of Greenwich, Conn. It had interesting grounds, but needed extensive renovation to address problematic proportions, scale and detailing. Unimaginably, the house did not even take advantage of spectacular Long Island Sound views. Overcoming the design glitches and potentially expanding the house was an interesting opportunity.

However, an initial feasibility study revealed that the original builder of the 15-year- old spec house had not only maxed out the allowable building footprint, but had also exceeded the height limit. With the exception of a small side addition, they could not build a bigger home on the property, and they also had to bring elements of the renovated building into compliance with zoning regulations.

They worked with a land use attorney to help assure that the plans would address the obvious and grey area compliance issues – and still result in a wonderful home that would meet the family’s lifestyle needs.

“The unique part of this project was staying within the parameters of the footprint, while completely transforming the property,” said LaPierre. “Working with Ben Krupinski Builders and its project manager Chris Quinn, we renovated the home extensively. We tore it down to the studs and completely replaced the wiring and systems. The interior was compartmentalized. We opened it up and created a transitional flow.“

New facades created with stone from the same historic quarry that supplied the base of the Statue of Liberty and the George Washington Bridge provide a stunning importance that was lacking in the original structure.

According to LaPierre, “Before, there was no sense of entry. Now there’s a beautiful front elevation and the entry is enhanced by a sunroom/conservatory. The stone in the facades matches existing antique stone walls connecting to the property’s original character. There are expansive windows that finally give access to the amazing views, and balconies at all levels link the inside with the outdoors – expanding lifestyle options. We added dormers that provide more usable square footage in the attic rooms and replaced the shingle roof with slate.”

The home is a wonderful example of what happens when architect, builder and designer pay minute attention to quality and details:

“Everything is custom and unique to this home,” said LaPierre. “Doors, windows, molding profiles milled to order. By the way, KLAFFS provided plumbing fixtures and lighting. The outcome of this challenging project was something very special!

David LaPierre
Cardello Architects
Norwalk, CT

David LaPierre is a Partner/Principal of Cardello Architects (RAC). An award-winning architect registered in both Connecticut and Florida, he’s been widely published in leading national and regional publications. He earned both engineering and architecture degrees. This provides him with an understanding of construction detailing, an uncompromising eye towards design and a passion for good architecture no matter the style.

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The ‘before’ images provided by Cardello Architects tell the tale of just how stunning it can be when better – rather than bigger – is the goal.



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