Architects Speak on ‘Inspired Homes’

Five Out of Six Started Out Working for Gym Wilson, a ‘Fertile Place’
By PAT JOHNSON | Aug 03, 2016

A crowd packed the Boris Blai gallery in the Long Beach Island Foundation of the Arts and Sciences on Friday, July 29 for the “Inspired Homes” exhibit with a talk by LBI architects Sam Gordon, Jay Madden, Stephen Midouhas, Mike Pagnotta, Michael Raphael and Mike Ryan.

The exhibit includes architectural plans, photographs, renderings, models and publications highlighting the innovation of LBI design and serves to complement the Foundation’s 50th Annual Seashore House Tour on Wednesday, Aug. 3. The architects’ talk was to further entice and inform the public.

“The panel we have assembled includes great problem solvers,” said Temple University’s Tyler Art School associate professor Daniella Kerner, who serves on the Foundation’s gallery committee. “They challenge our idea of what a coastal home can be. We ask that you support them and support the Art Foundation, become a member. That’s the biggest contribution you can make; it helps keep the doors open.”

Mike Raphael’s office, Raphael Architects, is located in Doylestown PA, unlike the other architects with offices on Long Beach Island. “I’m the only one of the group who didn’t grow up on LBI, working together for one of two LBI architects. I took a circuitous route to LBI from Boston, to San Francisco, to Doylestown, arriving on Long Beach Island in 2007.” Raphael said he and his wife traveled to many points on the shore, looking for a place to call home. When we arrived in Loveladies we said, “This is it; this place appreciates architects.”

Architecture is of course, an art, a science, and a business. As a business, we serve the needs of our client’s. Raphael represent his clients’ aspirations for their home. “I find out what is unique about them, their family, and their habits. I then develop a design that integrates their needs into the natural surroundings. The design solution must project permanence and structured ordered, in a rhythmic manner. If appropriate for the setting, the design should also respond to historical imagery– whether from the place or from the client’s memories. Finally, the proposed quality of work, combined with the extent of the work, must balance with the client’s budget. A beautiful building design for a construction budget that the client cannot afford serves no one.”

Many of Raphael’s projects include renovations and additions. Raphael believes in simple rules for sustainability: “Reuse, restore and add only what you need.” The firm follows Sarah Susanka’s “Not So Big House” movement, creating homes that capture their client’s aspirations for family, place, and budget.

The “Inspired Homes” exhibition continued through Aug. 15 and was free to the public.

[email protected]