They are poles apart in every way but one. They are not a married couple; they come from worlds so divergent they border on unknowable; he’s humorous, she’s earnest; he loves shingle and stone, she loves wood; he’s a public school boy – Brooklyn Technical High School and City College of New York; she’s a private school girl – University in Bombay, Washington University in St. Louis. And yet, working together for more than 20 years, this award-winning team has taken buildings with no soul and no sense, and breathed life and beauty into them.
What they agree on is what is key to their success: Architecture should be conceptual as well as contextual. It should be indigenous to the area but still have panache. “There’s a lot of emotion that goes into a custom piece of work, whether it’s a new house or an addition,” Shah says, noting they have done more than 500 projects together and “one-third of those are repeat clients.”
The House: Benowitz says the house, set on a vista with a beautiful view of the surrounding lands, has a unique use of shingle and stone. “Geoghegan” is a totally new and larger house, which occupies part of the site of the original, torn-down residence. While they were free to site it differently, Shah says they rethought the locations of the private and public rooms, which worked far better than the original home’s layout and location.
Interior Design: Katherine Geoghegan ASID, Estate Interiors LLC, Rye, (914) 772-2781
Builder: J J Fuscaldo, Inc., Westport, CT (203) 222-9122