Romancing the Stone
Edie Cohen -- Interior Design, 3/1/2007 12:00:00 AM
Hicks Stone wasn't necessarily rebellious. But he did entertain thoughts of pursuing professions other than architecture. Marine biology was one teenage enthusiasm, law another. The latter "mercifully faded," he says. "Those types of books don't have pictures." On a serious note, though, he certainly had a tough act to follow: specifically his father, Edward Durell Stone.
The architect of the U.S. Embassy in New Delhi and the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C., to name just two highly visible projects, he died in 1978, right after his son graduated from Hamilton College in upstate New York. "That's when I decided to become an architect, and I got into Harvard," Hicks Stone recounts. Facetious again: "I know Dad didn't pay anyone off."
After practicing in Boston with Stephen L. Faulk and Associates, he came to New York to work for Johnson/Burgee Architects. In 1991, he founded Stone Architecture, which now has four employees. "I don't want my staff to get big," he says. "I love working on design every day."
Most of that design is residential, including a renovation of his childhood New York town house, an 1890's brownstone that his father transformed with characteristic latticework. Stone Architecture is currently renovating three apartments in New York and building a house in Rockport, Maine, for former This Old House host Steve Thomas; the firm is also building the 30,000-square-foot Photographic Centre in Palm Beach, Florida.
Unexpectedly, most of those projects are traditional, but that's his clients' pick. He has two contemporary designs on the boards, too. In Cornwall, Connecticut, glass and fieldstone define a pavilionlike house with a transparent living room projecting over the wooded landscape. And there's an Albert Frey–inspired courtyard house set, fittingly, at the base of the San Jacinto Mountains in Rancho Mirage, California.