Palm Beach Daily News from Palm Beach, Florida on December 14, 2008 · Page B011
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Palm Beach Daily News from Palm Beach, Florida · Page B011

Palm Beach, Florida
Issue Date:
Sunday, December 14, 2008
Page B011
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MAGENTA BLACK iib ColorFinal Palm Beach Daily News, Sunday, December 14, 2008 X ' i ' ' The landmarked archways, added by architect Howard Major in a 1931 renovation, were retained, with new side arches added to create a first-floor porch off the main playroom space. k7 ex. Renovation of a 1925 British Colonial-style home earns 2008 Ballinger Award. When Julia and David Koch decided to purchase the property neighboring El Sarmiento, the grand and very formal Mizner-designed 1923 Mediterranean Revival house they have lived in since 2001, they foresaw the creation of a "magnificent compound." "We wanted to make a place for the children," said Julia Koch, who had created a playroom for the couple's three offspring, all of whom are under 10 years old, from a former guest bedroom at El Sarmiento. "It was too small for them, especially when they had friends come over to play." So the original concept for the house next door, a 1925 British Colonial-style residence that had been renovated in 1931 by island architect and leading proponent of the Bermuda style, Howard Major, was to accommo date the Koch chil dren's needs. Working with Jupiter-based architect Thomas Kirchhoff, the Kochs were convinced to renovate the house and attach it "ingeniously and rather seamlessly to El Sarmiento," which would remain their main residence, said John Ripley, executive director of the Preserva tion Foundation of Palm Beach. The Koch's efforts earned them the 2008 Ballinger Award presented by the Preservation Foundation annually to renovation, preservation and restoration projects deemed superlative for maintaining the historic architectural tradi- tions of the island. The foundation has handed out Ballinger Awards since 1988. In 1991, the previous owners of El Sarmiento were given the award for the restoration of that property. Only a portion of the British Colonial-style house, five arches stretching across the first floor of 1 IF; . I." ill ! ;ir J 10 II 'II . I I 1 :t.-J - i i' u !! dii it "nil -ia li I ' " The interior courtyard was made more formal and also about a third smaller during the renovation process. Behind the mirrored doors is garage space serving both houses. the east-facing facade of the residence, had been landmarked, but Kirchhoff and the Kochs recognized the character and details of the entire east elevation, the south-facing elevation and an enclosed courtyard, all of which had been created by Major, were significant and worthy of restoration and im provement. To create an expansive lawn area spanning the two joined residences at the eastern, ocean-facing end of the property, something that David Koch said he especially desired, the second house was moved westward 15 feet to line up with the facade of El Sarmiento. "The houses were always close," said David Koch, noting that there was only about 15 feet of yard between them. "It was almost as if they should have been joined together originally." In the process, it was determined that the "playhouse," as the Kochs now refer to the second home they acquired, also would serve a number of functions besides as a setting for chil dren to play. There is a gracious second-floor apartment for the house manager and his wife, an exercise room, a gallery and family room, and underneath an expansive basement where a mega-generator and all climate and utility equipment for both houses is now located. The Howard major-designed southern elevation with its original chimney was restored and enhanced. A circular driveway was removed, with access to a motorcourt positioned on the west end of the property. An interior courtyard was made somewhat smaller, allowing for a motorcourt and garage along the west-facing side of the house. The main floor features co-quina walls, wood floors and a decidedly more casual look than El Sarmiento next door. The Kochs enlisted New York The two houses are connected through the kitchen wing of El Sarmiento and via a covered walkway and pergola. decorator Rod Winterrowd, whose work Julia Koch had admired in a design magazine several years ago, to outfit the place, modeling the soda fountain in the central playroom after an ice cream parlor counter in Southampton, N.Y., where the Kochs are based in the summer months. The color scheme Koch residence extension and addition Owners: Julia and David Koch Architect: Thomas M. Kirchhoff Contractor: Worth Builders Interior Designer: Rod Winterrowd Landscape Design: Sanchez & Maddux was inspired by a series of Donald Batchelor posters with a vivid icecream theme. There are no curtains in the first-floor series of rooms. "I wanted it to be flooded with light, with the outdoors clearly visible" Julia Koch said. Access to the playhouse is via a covered walkway and newly constructed pergola from El Sarmiento, through arched doors that open onto the sitting room, a room filled with artifacts collected during David Koch's travels in Africa and reflective of his interests in African art and subject matter. "It is to the credit of the Kochs that they could see the potential of joining the two properties in such a way as to enhance a neglect ed historic house and create a family compound that reflects the architectural variety that's native to Palm Beach," said John Mashek, Preservation Foundation president. rjanjigian HHP VIS, If, rM . ' AT The Africa room, a comfortably furnished sitting area, is the adult-oriented portion of the The playroom seating area is done up in a consciously casual fashion with accents of bright playhouse. ice cream colors. Story by Robert Janjigian Photos by Stephen LeekPreservation Foundation of Palm Beach B11

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