Designing after Disaster

Architect Paul Pellicani always enjoyed taking art classes and spending summers working in carpentry with his uncle in Wantagh. Today, his firm Architect’s Loft focuses on building smarter, better performing, sustainable homes. Pellicani gives insight into how the Island is putting itself back together, stronger than ever.

Long Island Pulse: Which green design concepts or products are you using post-Sandy?
Paul Pellicani:
For a current project in Brookville we are incorporating many sustainable products. The walls will be constructed using ICFs (insulated concrete form) instead of standard wood framing. After Sandy’s devastation where many homes were literally crushed by massive trees, the owner was interested in making a stronger home with concrete. ICFs also give the wall a much higher insulating value, making the home quieter.

LIP: What is the most innovative work you are doing these days?
Our sister company Green MOD builders specializes in sustainable building methods, like modular construction. Traditionally modular homes had a stigma of being temporary structures that are less aesthetic because often manufacturers do not have great designs. Our modular concept is built inside a controlled factory environment, delivered and then set onto a permanent foundation. We are currently designing and building them for a few Sandy victims. The main benefit for them, beyond better quality of construction and cost savings, is they will be back in their homes in half the time it would take to site-build.

LIP: What’s the biggest trend in home design on Long Island right now?
We are seeing a trend toward multi-generational housing because it is so expensive to own a home here. Parents of many would-be homeowners are empty nesters with extra space who are looking to either add on or, in some cases knock down a home and build a new two-family home for the children or grandchildren. These days it is more a matter of both parents working and still not having enough for a down payment.

Design Tip:
Use windows not only as a source of fresh air and natural daylight, but also to capture a scene. Strategically placing a window to frame a beautiful tree creates a snapshot that constantly evolves through the seasons.

words: Caroline Wilkes | photo: Lynn Spinnato

caroline wilkes

Caroline Sophia Wilkes is an interior designer who also writes about design trends. From Manhattan to Montauk, this native Long Islander derives inspiration from the dynamic forms and energy of the city to the organic serenity of our land- and seascapes.