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"Imagine Hillandale" Announces Global Design Competition

Architectural Crowdsourcing Goes Green

RYE BROOK, N.Y., April 21, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- When the 1930's Colonial home they had attentively updated for two decades lingered for over a year on a stalled real-estate market, corporate attorney Cynthia Shoss and her husband David Watson, a theatre director and producer, did what they do best: they found a creative solution.  The result: an international architectural competition to create "green" designs for renovation or replacement of their former home, which they hope will encourage both developers and potential buyers to see the nearly two-acre property's potential from a fresh perspective.  They were further encouraged when a similar-sized property just across desirable Hillandale Road in the Village of Rye Brook, sold for an estimated $2,000,000 – as a "teardown."

The competition (at offers honoraria for "Conceptual Portfolios" showcasing the potential for the much-larger home which the unique, oversized site can accommodate.  The competition even makes reference to the way in which architect Frank Lloyd Wright incorporated the streams, slopes, and rock out-crops for the design of his "Usonia" community, located not far away.

"We had improved the house in many ways over the years, with both practicalities such as central air conditioning and a high-tech furnace, and more aesthetic features such as a large, shaded porch," said Cynthia.  "But we'd also thought about blue-sky projects we never undertook, such as enclosing the gazebo, with its protected view of treetops, naturalized wildflowers, and a stream; or creating a vanishing-edge pool adjacent to the rear terrace."  Now, these are just two of the ideas which competitors are encouraged to incorporate – along with an environmentally-friendly garage whose "green roof" would extend the existing front lawn.

"We had always hoped another family would love this house as we have," said Cynthia, "but at the top end of today's market, where most of the sales activity is in this area, buyers were focused primarily on new construction.  So we decided not just to accept that, but to facilitate it."

The "Imagine Hillandale" competition is free, virtual, and does not require site visits.  All necessary reference materials are online, and participation is not limited to licensed architects.  Consequently, in addition to student and professional teams from across the United States, international teams from such distant locations as the University of Tehran's School of Architecture and a design collaborative in Western Australia are participating.

SOURCE Imagine Hillandale

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