Residential Design

VOL3 2019

A business-to-business magazine focused on the collaborative process and talented work of residential architects and custom homebuilders.

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Danish-born architect Vibeke Lichten wears many hats. Trained as an archi- tect, she went on to study real estate development at Harvard Graduate School of Design. Vibeke runs the New York-based architecture practice Atelier Vibeke Lichten, and her husband, Joel Assouline, oversees their development company, A2 Investment Group. In addition to her design work, Vibeke heads up construction at the develop- ment arm, and much of her work is design-build. Then there's the role of budget chief. Fiscal discipline is one of the guiding forces of her companies, she says. "I'm accustomed to building things that make sense financially, trying to make something design-wise that corre- sponds to a budget, high or modest. I think my clients come to me because of that. They trust they won't be taken too far out on a limb. I try to warn peo- pleā€”this is not the same as that. Even on big commercial projects, it's easy to go over budget." The couple's house on Shelter Island was an opportunity to step into an alternative world where she could work with subcontractors in a deeper way. It was a chance to explore the intersection between control and speed, prosaic and polished. In a realm where many of her buildings take several years to complete, she was determined to build for agility as well as durability and low maintenance. To that end, one of the key decisions here was to use poured-in-place concrete instead of traditional framing, which allowed the 2,015-square-foot house and a 1,380-square-foot pool/guest house to be occupied less than a year after construction began. The concrete shell took two weeks to frame up, and "once you take off the form, the house is there," Vibeke Opposite page and this page: Vibeke Lichten's new Shelter Island house overlooks the Peconic River. It's designed to be self-sufficient and resilient in the face of extreme maritime weather. The poured-in- place concrete structure was efficient and economical to build, while still promoting compelling design. 59 VOL. 3, 2019 RESIDENTIALDESIGNMAGA ZINE.COM

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