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Timeless Luxury & Passion
D'Alessio Inspired Architectural Designs exceeds clients' expectations
by Charlé-John Cafiero
Photography by Randi Bye
Andrea D’Alessio, Jr., the founder of D’Alessio Inspired Architectural Designs, is an internationally acclaimed home designer and building expert. D’Alessio has designed homes on three continents in the cities of Abuja, Beijing and the East and West Coast of the U.S. The firm, founded in 1997, is a full service design/build/construction company and has recently moved to Long Island, New York for the rehabilitation of an iconic Gold-Coast property.
When it comes to building the perfect home, everyone has different needs and desires, which is why D’Alessio is committed to taking a personal approach. Renowned for forging such close relationships with his clients, D’Alessio is able to interpret and realize their vision beyond even their own expectations. His exquisite, award-winning creations are true legacy homes, designed to stand the test of time.
“Trust is paramount in successfully designing and constructing the castles, luxury mansion estates and European châteaux on which I work,” D’Alessio explains. “They need to be able to trust why I’m doing it a certain way and I have to have that trust to give them what they want.”
D’Alessio’s impeccable credentials and personal involvement with the process inspires confidence. He worked for many years as a stonemason, initially under the tutelage of his father who emigrated from Italy in 1970, beginning his career at 11 years old and eventually started his own business. His encyclopedic knowledge of 18th and 19th century classical design is seen in the custom facade cast limestone ornate door, window surrounds, columns and capitals as well as interior hardwood mouldings, double groin-vaulted, barrel-vaulted and coffered ceiling millwork designs. He visits every proposed site himself, making several detailed sketches that he revises with clients before creating a final design rendering.
By working closely with each client, D’Alessio ensures that he captured the essence of their unique vision, before enhancing it with his own creativity and experience. His passion for craftsmanship and his meticulous attention to detail – combined with state-of-the-art building technology – means that D’Alessio is leading the way in creating timeless luxury “ultra-homes.”
“It’s the creative detail that clients come to us for,” says D’Alessio. “The authenticity of architectural details create a lifestyle for each of my clients, more than a home it’s an emotion.”
Examples of this creative detail include a ‘butterstick herringbone’ pattern pool surround that D’Alessio designed using travertine, a form of limestone. “Everything was hand-cut in one-inch blocks and then individually placed,” he explains. That particular project won the United Kingdom’s International Property Award for Best Outside Landscape, one of a number of prestigious accolades the company has earned over the years.
D’Alessio’s detail-attentive design is also apparent in his architectural design millwork of ornamentally embellished hardwood, mouldings and carved elements. He designs precise period detail to create highly aesthetic designs for awe-inspiring interior rooms.
The one word that best describes ultra-luxury homes is legacy; they can be newly built or once in a generation an existing historic residence will come along. One of the Gold Coast’s few remaining iconic period mansions still surrounded by a substantial amount of land has beckoned the talents of the D’Alessio firm. The estate is one of the largest, private, undeveloped parcels of land that hasn’t been subdivided. The mansion, designed by the acclaimed architect Roger H. Bullard – known at the time for building splendid mansions on Long Island – evokes the sophistication and grandeur of a bygone era. “Clearly the house was built for another time, but still resonates today,” states D’Alessio.
The new homeowners, who wanted an extremely liveable residence yet honour the original architectural elements, hired D’Alessio to update and expand the estate located within one of Long Island’s elite enclaves.
To work on such an iconic property is a privilege and one of the reasons the company, as well as the entire D’Alessio family, moved to Long Island. The rehab of the estate includes restoring the original 1929, 20,000 square foot Elizabethan-influenced Cotswold-style mansion. D’Alessio describes the painstaking process of inviting several experts to inspect everything from the replacement of a graduated Vermont slate roof to the Indiana limestone to repointing 10,000 square feet of varied gray stone originally acquired from the tunnel excavation of New York City’s subway system. The scope of work also includes restoring five 40-foot chimneys and considering how the building’s gorgeous – but unpractical – 200 leaded glass windows can be made to fit 21st-century living. “That’s the kind of client that we’re working with,” D’Alessio remarked, “people who really care about their properties. It’s a unique experience to have clients with vision to understand the true value of historic renovation and willing to take on that challenge. This makes our job exceptional.”
Even though the mansion was built for another era, the original qualities of sophistication and grandeur will be respected and built upon through the renovation creating a new legacy that satisfies the demands for today’s modern family.
But the real amenity is the air of peace one immediately senses when entering the property – the feeling of stepping back in time. You’re in your own private world from the moment you pass through the gatehouse’s newly installed hand-forged gates with a solid brass family crest. Although architecture, size, finishes and amenities add worth to a property, the land and location makes this restoration especially valuable. D’Alessio believes that this estate will become a premier U.S. ultra-residence when compared to other national and international ultra-luxury properties.
While many seem to think that owning property is all about investment and price, what it all goes back to is passion. It takes a great deal of passion on the part of the owners, architects and designers to create these properties and it will take an equal amount of passion to renew this ultra-luxury property for a 21st century legacy.
The D’Alessio company’s devotion to getting every single last detail right is matched only by Andrea D’Alessio himself, who is passionate about working closely with each client to interpret their vision and then drawing on his own creative ability to take it even further. The houses he designs are not only architecturally outstanding but – with every detail created in close collaboration with the owners – they truly are legacy homes to be passed down through the generations.