An(ne)Architecture Blog

postings on architecture and all things related

Designing the Spaces Where Traditions are Created and Memories are Made

Anne Sciarrone - Tuesday, December 30, 2014

What a wonderful Holiday Season celebrating Holidays with family and friends! 

All the festivity of this season has inspired me to reflect on the importance of tradition in our lives. 

Traditions tie us to each other; they ground us in the roots from where we have come.  Traditions are a way of honoring, of remembering, and they are also a way of welcoming.  Through our traditions we tell our stories and invite others to be a part.

Festa Dei Sette Pesci

Our familys most notable tradition is our Christmas Eve meal.  For nearly 15 years, my husband has been following in the footsteps of his Italian grandmother by preparing a Festa dei sette pesci (Feast of the Seven Fishes).  In the days leading up to Christmas Eve, he carefully plans the meal and shops for the finest ingredients.  By December 24th all Christmas baking must be completed and cleared out because the kitchen is off limits to anything but the preparation of our evening meal.  I clean and decorate and set out our fine china and silver.  After returning home from the Pageant Service at our Church we open our home to our extended family and eat and drink with much merriment, lingering at the table through several courses. 

It is a labor of love and it gets better and better every year.  I wonder if our children will carry this tradition on; I know they will share the stories at the very least.   In the mean time, I hope to have a larger dining room one day so we can add more seats at the table. 

In addition to our family traditions, it’s always a special highlight for me to attend celebrations held by my clients.  I love knowing that the spaces I have designed will one day be back drops for their traditions.   

Jason and Melanie’s basement couldn’t be a more fitting space to host a Holiday Wine Tasting with its exposed stone walls and warm stained wood ceiling and bar.   It was their dream to convert the once unfinished space into the heart of their entertaining.   And boy do they throw a good party!  

Rob, the consummate cook and host, brought the low-country tradition of an oyster roast to his Grant Park Victorian cottage.  It was just as we imagined as we planned his kitchen expansion - his guests gathered around the large island helping themselves to the most amazing Brunswick stew and refilling their eggnog. 

There really is nothing more satisfying to me than to see my clients enjoying the spaces weve created together and sharing those spaces with their family and friends.  This is precisely why I do what I do!

What are your special traditions?  Is your space the perfect place to house those traditions?  Or are there ways to make even a small change in your environment allow those traditions to come alive?  

On The Boards: The New Garden Hills Pool House

Anne Sciarrone - Wednesday, February 22, 2012


In a traditional eclectic style employing stone, wood siding and heavy timber detailing, the new home for the Garden Hills Neighborhood Pool provides a refreshingly updated and accessible facility.

The new building will replace an existing out-dated A-frame structure built in 1979. 

The modernized plan provides a controlled entry to the pool area through a breezeway in the center of the building.  A family restroom located outside the gate to the pool will be available to service the playground and soccer field while the pool is secure.  Modernized locker room facilities meeting the requirements of the ADA will allow for greater efficiency and ease of maintenance while providing larger dressing areas.  An enlarged concession area will service both the playground area and the pool deck.  The upper level will house employee areas and offices with views to the pool.  A mezzanine has been provided for the use of swim team meet scoring.  Also on the upper level will be a Community Room intended to be available for small meetings and parties.  A covered deck on the pool side will connect the Community Room to the pool deck.  The building design, with the large covered area outside concessions and other open air spaces will also provide for spaces for pool occupants to wait out rain delays.

We are working on this project in a design-build collaboration with The Macallan Group and hope to begin construction documents soon.  Fundraising is underway.  If you'd like to donate please contact the Garden Hills Pool and Park Association.


Muirfield Village Golf Club - Returning Home

Anne Sciarrone - Friday, June 17, 2011
I am just returning home today from a trip to the Muirfield Village Golf Club in Dublin, Ohio.  

The club, founded by Jack Nicklaus and officially opened in 1974 and home to the annual Memorial Tournament, is truly an extraordinary place.

I first visited Muirfield when I started working on the design of a 12-room Lodge in 2001 and continued work there until the spring of 2007 when we completed the construction of six new Golf Villas. 

This was my first trip back in well over a year and I was reminded of how bitter-sweet the end of a project always is for me.  Each time I am able to go back to visit an old project it is truly wonderful to  see it in full bloom - people using and enjoying the spaces as intended, mature landscaping all around, and in this case signs of impeccable upkeep. 

The best part about returning, though?  It’s the chance to reunite with the people.  When a project is done, the furniture moved in and job trailers moved out, I am most grateful for the relationships that I have built along the way.  In a way going back and seeing old friends makes it feel like I am “returning home”.

Is it time for your club to resurrect a Master Plan?

Anne Sciarrone - Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Having had firsthand experience bringing back from the dead and breathing new life into failed Master Plans I wanted to share a case study from Club and Resort Business on how a winning master plan can transform a club’s success.  Not every club can pull off an ice rink, but it is worth considering what other  family activities you could offer and how updating your facilities could bring them alive.

As you read the article look for these key lessons from Columbia Country Club’s Master Planning experience:

    • Educate your membership.  Help them to better understand how your club amenities need to stay ahead of how the club industry is changing and how facilities make it possible to add updated programs and services
    • After making a commitment to staying fresh, come up with a big picture solution of where to be in the future. 
    • And be sure to involve an architect that has a keen understanding of clubs and the process of obtaining member approval.

Find the Club and Resort Business article here.

And,  I don't know about you, but I can't wait to try the crab cluster recipe!

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