Hilton-VanderHorn Architects, owned by Darien residents Charles Hilton and Douglas VanderHorn, has been selected as the winner in the Residential Restoration and Renovation category of the Traditional Building Institute, 2011 Palladio Awards design competition.

The award is named in honor of Andrea Palladio, the Renaissance architect who created modern architecture for his time while referencing models from the past for inspiration and guidance. Now in its 10th year, the Palladio Awards are the preeminent national design competition "honoring excellence in traditional building design by recognizing project teams whose work enhances the beauty and humane qualities of the built environment."

The award was presented to partner Charles Hilton at the Traditional Building Conference held July 15 in Boston. It recognizes Hilton-VanderHorn Architects for their preservation and transformation of two buildings as part of the creation of a French Country Farm in Greenwich.

During his presentation at the conference, Hilton explained how the design was inspired by the farm at Marie Antoinette's Petit Hamlet at the Palace of Versailles. The firm's design references the scale, forms, and character of this period Normandy village while tying seamlessly with its New England setting through the use of vernacular building materials. The worn shingle exteriors were replaced with a new Vermont slate roof, a fieldstone veneer (matching the stone walls on the property), local hand-hewn white oak timbering, stucco and NY bluestone. The interiors feature antiqued wood timbers, period interior millwork, and imported French plaster walls. The buildings contain a new state-of-the-art greenhouse, work rooms for the farm, a guest suite and an office for the owner of the property. They also have high efficiency insulation, mechanical systems, and window and door glazing to minimize energy costs.

Hilton-VanderHorn Architects is a 20-year-old design firm that specializes in traditional residential design. The firm has completed projects across the country, with the majority of their work being located in Fairfield County and Westchester County. HVA is the recipient of American Institute of Architects, CT Home Builders Association and various trade association design awards. Their projects are featured regularly in national and regional shelter publications, as well as in books such as Shingle Style Houses - Past and Present, Dream Homes of New England, Dream Homes of Metro New York, The Classicist and A Decade of Art and Architecture 1992-2002. The firm's work can be viewed at www.Hilton-VanderHorn.com.

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