From the December/January 2009 Issue:

Architects' Favorite Architectural Elements

What is your favorite architectural feature in a residence and why?

Alexander A. Bol, AIA Bol Architecture in Berkeley Heights 908-464-9100

An entry portico offers a significant welcome to your friends and family. This extension of your home’s exterior also offers protection from the elements while a visitor waits at the front door to be greeted.

Paul A. Kiss, AIA, PP, NCARB Olivieri, Shousky & Kiss in Collingswood; 856-854-0580,

I like window seats for a variety of reasons. They enlarge a room without enlarging the outside footprint. They add visual interest to an otherwise bland area. You also can use them to create new spaces out of otherwise mundane ones, such as stair landings and hallways. They can frame a spectacular view and enhance the effect. Add a cushion, a backrest, and some bookshelves and you have a great space to kick back and enjoy a good book – or a quick snooze.

Rosette Khorenian, AIA RDK Architects LLC in Edgewater; 201-941-7276,

An eyebrow roof adds unique character to a home. It has a graceful curve that accentuates the architectural feature below it, whether it be a window, door, or porch.

Julia Averett Buteux, Associate AIA AMRArch Design Studio in Hillsborough; 908-598-0067,

An enfilade — or long hallway with doors along the sides — is always important to me. When you look down the hallway, the doors give you a sense that you’re seeing through layers of potential activity. (In the illustration below, the enfilade separates the pool on the left from the rooms on the right.) This type of arrangement along an enfilade dates back to the Greek temples. A guiding design principle revolves around the threshold: What do you see as you approach each new threshold? The idea is to keep opening up so there is always perspective going on — as in a painting.