AIANH's extraordinary homes

Who will win awards for best residential design from the New Hampshire chapter of the American Institute of Architects in January?

The New Hampshire chapter of the American Institute of Architects’ (AIANH) annual Excellence in Architecture Design Awards Program is marking its thirty-first year of honoring outstanding architecture. The awards program is juried by out-of-state architects who select the winning projects based on overall design excellence, including aesthetics, clarity, creativity, appropriate functionality, sustainability, building performance and appropriateness with regard to the client’s vision. AIANH member architects are eligible to submit projects anywhere in the world, while out-of-state member architects can submit projects that are located in New Hampshire.

This year, twelve projects were submitted in the residential category, along with sixteen submissions for commercial, educational and municipal projects.

The jurors for the 2015 program were from the Boston Architectural College (BAC) and included Karen Nelson, dean of the BAC School of Architecture; Thomas Parks, AIA, director of BAC distance master of architecture and principal of Thomas Parks Architects in Boston; Lee Peters, BAC faculty; Ian Taberner, director of master thesis at BAC; and Michael Wolfson, BAC faculty and director of distance master of architecture thesis.

Following is an overview of the residential submissions with descriptions of the projects provided by the architects. Winners will be announced at the AIANH Awards Banquet, scheduled for January 23 at the LaBelle Winery in Amherst. The results will be published in the March issue of New Hampshire Home, and, when possible, winning projects will be featured in upcoming issues. Award winners will also be posted on the AIANH website,, and featured in the annual Awards Book, published by AIANH.

In the meantime, the submissions are posted at and viewers can cast a ballot as part of the People’s Choice award program. After the banquet, all submissions will be part of a statewide traveling exhibition.

View the projects by clicking the links below.


Island Cottage at The Wentworth Country Club in Rye
Photography courtesy of Rob Karosis

Fiorentino Group Architects in Portsmouth 
373-8562 •
Architect: Scott Fiorentino, AIA
Landscape Architect: Terra Firma in Portsmouth 
General Contractor: CM Ragusa Builders in Seabrook

This oceanfront residence, located within an established country club neighborhood, takes advantage of views of the fairway and the historic Wentworth by the Sea Hotel. The home is a blend of French Provincial massing with Shingle-Style detailing. Large overhangs; a stone veneer foundation; covered decks, entrances and canopies; and a decorative yet
resilient façade offer screening and protection from the unpredictable New England seacoast weather.

A centrally located kitchen with adjacent dining and living rooms—in the open-concept first-floor plan—are important gathering spaces for day-to-day living and entertaining. The first-floor guest suite allows for future closure of the second and basement levels, offering single-floor living and/or savings in energy use.

The home is well-insulated with closed-cell spray foam, and uses high-efficiency windows and doors. Other energy-saving features help minimize the use of mechanical systems.

View more projects by clicking the links below.


Seaside Renovation in North Hampton
Photography courtesy of Rob Karosis

TMS Architects in Portsmouth  436-4274 •
Architects: Robert Carty, AIA, principal architect; Retta Fitch, project manager
Landscape Architect: Site Structure Landscape, Inc. in Kittery, Maine
Interior Designer: Cristina Marais of TMS Architects
General Contractor: CM Ragusa Builders of Seabrook

The homeowners of this seaside cottage felt that the existing spaces were too small and separated. The homeowners have a large extended family and wanted to be able to spend time together while on vacation. They desired larger, more open spaces with a kitchen prominent as the “heart” of the home. They did not want a dining table per se, but requested casual seating at a bar located adjacent to the kitchen area and a large kitchen island for seating.

Because of its proximity to the ocean, a nautical motif runs through the home; the family room’s teak ceiling is reminiscent of the hull of a ship, a gold-leaf weathervane in the shape of a ship graces the top of the stone turret and a marble compass rose is inlayed in the floor of the art studio. Blues of the sea and sky are used in the furnishings and paint colors.

View more projects by clicking the links below.


Hyder Court Housing in Portsmouth
Photography courtesy of Carolyn Abell Hodges

McHenry Architecture PLLC in Portsmouth  430-0274 •
Architect: Steven McHenry, AIA, LEED AP BD+C
Project Architect: Brandon Holben, AIA, LEED AP BD+C
Construction Manager: Careno Construction Corporation in Bedford

This multifamily, residential development project is sited on a transitional site between a dense residential neighborhood and the mixed-use commercial zone near the Portsmouth traffic circle. Hyder Court is a housing development with six apartment units in two buildings. The design of the apartment buildings endeavors to develop the site in a way that is equitable to the community and property owner. The objective is to create an efficient and well-planned site and buildings that provide much-needed housing while enhancing the existing neighborhood.

The shed-style single-slope roof creates an exciting form that also directs the water and snow away from the building entrance and connects to rainwater management system. The use of rain gardens and bioswales reduces stormwater runoff.

Increased natural ventilation, a high-efficiency HVAC system and low-emitting materials throughout the interior work in tandem, creating healthy indoor air quality throughout the year. LED lights throughout significantly reduce electricity use. The combination of a highly efficient building envelope and electric-heat-pump system make this new housing development perform better than the building code requires.

View more projects by clicking the links below.


Birch Bay House in Central New Hampshire
Photography by John W. Hession

Bonin Architects & Associates, PLLC in New London  526-6200 •
Architect: Jeremy Bonin, AIA, NCARB, LEED AP
Landscape Architect: Greg Grigsby of Pellettieri Associates, Inc. in Warner
Builder: Old Hampshire Designs in New London
Interior Designer: Christine Kelly Interiors in Darien, Connecticut

The site is in a sheltered cove with a sloping lawn to the water and mature trees affording cove views. The clients wanted to maintain the natural privacy of this site, while connecting to the outdoors with a comfortable patio for family and friends, stone walls, and intimate plantings and gardens. The design is a balance of an exterior that addresses the context of the Lakes Region and an interior with a calm and sophisticated feel.

The first floor incorporates ten-foot ceilings with tall windows and transoms to allow ample light into the house on its northern and lake-view façade. For accessibility during retirement, the master suite and laundry are on the first floor. The second floor includes guest bedrooms as well as a family room and office above the garage. The home is built with a hybrid high R-value and a properly air sealed envelope;  it also uses a low-velocity heating and cooling system, and a balanced heat-recovery ventilation system.

View more projects by clicking the links below.


A Kitchen Worth the Wait in Rye
Photography courtesy of Rob Karosis

TMS Architects in Portsmouth  436-4274 •
Architects: William Soupcoff, AIA, principal architect; Justin Knowlton, project manager
General Contractor: Tucker Associates in Rye
Interior Designer: Cebula Design in Newburyport, Massachusetts

The original space was dated with a lack of function. The original portion of the residence had served its purpose and was torn down. In its place, a new addition opens the interior of the home to its natural environment. Perched atop the highest elevation on the property, the interior spaces have 180-degree views to the outside.

Cathedral ceilings and high windows give a light, open and airy feeling to the space. The white cabinets with white stone counters and stainless-steel appliances create an elegant and sophisticated backdrop to the otherwise unobstructed views, and a wood-burning fireplace with its natural stone surround creates a stunning focal point in the adjacent sitting area.

The exterior chimney provides an impressive sculptural element to the landscape, and the lower, exterior stone patio creates a bridge from structure to nature while providing a place to relax and entertain within the surrounding wildlife refuge.

View more projects by clicking the links below.


Straws Point Residence in Rye 
Photography courtesy of Eric Roth

CJ Architects in Portsmouth  431-2808 •
General Contractor: Chinburg Properties in Newmarket
Landscape Architect: Terra Firma Landscape Architecture in Portsmouth

The restoration of this vintage waterfront home preserves the integrity of the original cottage while converting the interior into an open-concept space with a clean-line design in demand by current lifestyles. The contemporary pool house complements the main house and reinvents the original style. The house and pool house are designed to take full advantage of the setting. Large, open living spaces are arranged to capture optimal light and views. It is clear from the details that everyone who had a hand in this project felt it was special.

View more projects by clicking the links below.


The Barn House in Stratham
Photography courtesy of Rob Karosis

TMS Architects in Portsmouth  436-4274 •
Architects: Shannon Alther, AIA, principal
General Contractor: Breakwater Builders in North Andover, Massachusetts

The homeowners of this unique home and barn had lived in the area for years and were thinking about their next steps. In lieu of leaving the family home, the following solution was developed: since the main house, built in 1709, was attached to a large barn that had been constructed in 1850, the homeowners decided to rent the main house to their son and turn a portion of the barn into their living quarters.

The homeowners had a concept and rough floor plan, but wanted to make sure it was a sound idea as well as properly engineered and designed. Initially the wife sold the idea to her husband by convincing him that all they really needed to do was “add a wall.” The project was a bit more complicated but is a wonderful example of creativity, sustainability and re-purposing.

View more projects by clicking the links below.


StoneFence Farm in Salisbury
Photography by John W. Hession

Bonin Architects & Associates, PLLC in New London 
526-6200 •
Architect: Jeremy Bonin, AIA, NCARB, LEED AP
Landscape Architect: Greg Grigsby of Pellettieri Associates, Inc. in Warner
Builder: Old Hampshire Designs in New London
Interior Designer: Sage’s Interiors in New London

The clients envisioned building a traditional New England Colonial home. The use of stone, which was quarried within fifty miles of the home, addressed the homeowners’ desires for durability, permanence and presence on the property they felt to be indicative of family and stability. Space for their children and grandchildren during extended visits was of utmost importance.      

The property consists of existing pastures, trails and wooded areas as well as a small gardening house. A stone main house with typical New England “connected architecture” for the mudroom and garage portion of the home addresses the additive nature of the local homes in this pastoral area. The exterior contains traditional detailing, including raised panel trim work, turned columns and large, double-hung windows.

The interior moldings and millwork acknowledge and showcase the traditional high level of craftsmanship found in many historic homes. Several guest bedrooms and a large bunk room for the grandchildren provide ample space for extended family gatherings.

The insulation and air sealing in this home exceed building and energy-code requirements. The house was also built with oversize interior doors and bathrooms designed for accessibility should they be needed in the future. Read more about this home.

View more projects by clicking the links below.


Clearview Lake Retreat on Lake Winnepocket
Photography by John W. Hession

Bonin Architects & Associates PLLC, in New London 526-6200 •
Architect: Jeremy Bonin, AIA, NCARB, LEED AP
Landscape Architect: Greg Rusnica of Bonin Architects & Associates, PLLC
General Contractor: Old Hampshire Designs in New London
Interior Designer: Sage’s Interiors in New London

With strong sentimental ties to the existing home, property and lake, the homeowners embarked on a dramatic renovation and landscape plan to transform a neglected property into a relaxing and comfortable environment.

The main floor was reconfigured and expanded to provide previously lacking views to the lake. Relocating the screen porch increased space in the living room and added panoramic views. Placing the entry and porch near the driveway greatly improved circulation on the site and within the home, granting a welcoming view of the dining room and fireplace when entering the house. The addition of the lakeside porch roof encompasses the second- floor balconies for added access to the outdoors. Two bedrooms on the second floor were combined to create a master suite, and the existing attic was transformed into an office and the grandchildren’s bunk room.

Salvage efforts were extensive for this project, which reused existing elements of the original home. New spray-foam insulation, a new high-efficiency boiler and an on-demand water heater have reduced fuel consumption.

View more projects by clicking the links below.


Lake Sunapee Residence
Photography courtesy of Duene Cowan

Cowan Goudreau Architects in Concord  226-3990 •
Architect: Duene Cowan • Contractor: Nehemiah Builders in Newbury

This lakeside house sits midway down a sloping site that leads from the road to the water. The house was rotated to take advantage of the views, and pushed down the hill to allow the garage and a turnabout to be between the house and the street. The circular driveway allows additional parking, circulation and the opportunity to provide landscaping to help defuse the sightline from the street.

The kitchen is located on one of the lakeside corners to allow water views. The lakeside screen porch has a connection to the living room and a double-sided fireplace, and provides tree-house–like views of Lake Sunapee. Design elements include wood shingles; an asphalt and metal roof; a native stone rubble base; a heavy timber entryway; a native stone fireplace; hardwood floors; a ceramic tile floor; granite countertops; and a custom French door at the entryway.

View more projects by clicking the links below.


Meredith Bay Townhomes in Laconia
Photography courtesy of Blind Dog Photo Associates

CJ Architects in Portsmouth  431-2808 •
Architect: Carla J. Goodknight, AIA, principal
General Contractor: Northwest Communities in Acton, Massachusetts
Interior Designer: Home Comfort in Center Harbor

Built on a hillside cascading down the banks of Lake Winnipesaukee, the living spaces of these four townhome units are designed to emulate the landscape. Cathedral ceilings, open stairways, as well as lakeside decks and balconies for each floor capture the essence of a custom waterfront home in a townhouse model.

Stone veneer detailing as well as heavy timber post-and-beam porches combine to create a classic New England–vacation style on the exterior.

View more projects by clicking the links below.


Whippoorwill Farm in Marlborough
Photography courtesy of Clive Russ

Sheldon Pennoyer Architects in Concord 
856-8994 •
Design Team: Sheldon Pennoyer, AIA, LEED AP; David O’Neil, AIA; Renee Fair, LEED AP
Landscape Architect: Brown Sardina
Strata Design in Boston
Contractor: Groesbeck Construction in Peterborough

This house was designed as an energy-efficient, single-family farmhouse that would be a part of a family farm compound. It is a traditional New England farmhouse on the exterior with a modern plan and clean, simple detailing on the interior. The building envelope was chosen after thoroughly considering issues of farmland productivity and wildlife corridors.

The house plan was designed to allow for informal living, and to accommodate a large home office on the second floor and a weaving studio on the first floor, adjacent to the main living space. To control the size of the building, all the bedrooms were designed to be small but functional. A screen porch was sited to allow for view of the mountains to the south and sunsets to the west, while remaining out of view during the winter when not in use.

Categories: Architecture and Interiors