At its core, the definition of architecture is simple—the aesthetic design of buildings or open spaces—but it often emerges as a representation of who we are as people and, by extension, who we are as a society. We recognize this and feel that it is important that a home express the emotions and characteristics of our clients, their site, and their community. Our designs are timeless, but not necessarily historically accurate; it is more important that we draw on the past for inspiration, reflect the culture of the present, and construct a home of the highest quality that will be significant in the future.
— APPROACH —
Many factors influence the design of a home, but it ultimately comes down to the community, the site conditions, and the clients. Our goal is to determine which of these is the driving force, the essence, of the project. In some cases, the essence may be that the home speaks the local vernacular, the language of the architecture around it. It could dominate the site, capturing the views of the surrounding landscape or, perhaps, blend in to let nature speak for itself. Often, insight will emerge from clients’ reasons for building or renovating their home and the lifestyle they wish to lead. Ultimately, all three elements could influence the design. We relish searching for the essence of each project, which establishes the starting point for the design.
Daniel Contelmo’s initial conversations with clients often result in artistic sketches, which provide the basis for architectural drawings. Our goal is to collaborate with clients to pinpoint their aesthetic style and daily needs. Dan typically sketches throughout meetings to depict the multitude of possibilities and gain a deeper understanding of clients’ needs. From there, he painstakingly plans interiors for maximum comfort and beauty; often, they include custom moldings, built-ins, and other unique details that make the home one-of-a-kind. Many times, clients request landscape design as well, extending their living space outdoors. The result is a set of meticulous construction drawings, executed by a highly trained support staff, that depict an environment designed specifically with the clients’ lifestyle in mind. We also offer construction contract administration to ensure the construction of the home is executed with as much precision and care as the designs.
Daniel Contelmo is a member of several associations, most notably:
AIA - The American Institute of Architects
CRAN - Custom Residential Architects Network
National Trust for Historic Preservation
Green Building Council
— PROFILE —
Steeped in the history of the Hudson Valley, Daniel Contelmo has always been drawn to art and architecture. As a young boy, he learned fine art from his mother, an accomplished artist herself. Soon, he began entering art contests with his pencil drawings, winning both locally and at the state level. His desire to draw became a passion for design; having grown up surrounded by the Hudson River estates, he was, and still is, enamored with the nearby homes of the Vanderbilts, the Mills, and the Roosevelts.
Dan pursued a degree at the New York Institute of Technology, which was surrounded by the beautiful homes of Old Westbury, NY. While at school, Dan worked for several architecture firms as well as one of Long Island’s premier landscape design firms. This experience engendered a passion for landscape design and gardening. In 1985, Dan graduated with his five-year Bachelor of Architecture degree and worked for prominent Hudson Valley firms for several years before starting his own firm in 1989.
Over nearly thirty years, Dan’s passion has allowed his company to flourish. The team, while focused in the Northeast, has worked in numerous states. Since they began entering design competitions in 2014, the firm has won more than 30 awards. They have also been featured in publications like HGTV, Better Homes and Gardens, and Beautiful Homes.
Dan’s dedication to his craft and his clients results in exceptional communication and teamwork as well as an ongoing pursuit of knowledge. Each year, Dan gathers inspiration from the gardens of the Samuel Morse Estate, Springside (the Matthew Vassar Estate), and the Mohonk Mountain House. Despite his success, Daniel Contelmo has remained motivated by the same goal for nearly three decades: improving the lives of his clients and their communities through architecture.