December 8, 2022

t9oor

Swing Your Home

Renovation 1662 – AIA


The owners of this historic
rowhome in Washington, D.C.’s Georgetown neighborhood purchased it so they could
enjoy an urban, walkable neighborhood closer to their place of employment. A
thorough renovation has transformed the house into a modern, light-filled, and
open dwelling. Visually unchanged at the street, the home still respects the
context of the neighborhood.

“A near-perfect marriage of
history and contemporary, urban living.” – Jury comment

In the original home,
compartmentalized spaces were disconnected from a deep rear garden, and the basement
kitchen was a full floor below the primary living space. The renovation is
built atop the original shell and infrastructure, all more than a century old,
and retains the original massing, fenestrations, and historical features.

Downsizing from their previous
home in the suburbs, the clients were wholly invested in living in a smaller
house that emphasized the quality of space over the quantity. Despite
relatively small footprints, the home’s new spatial arrangement works in
concert with high ceilings and large expanses of glass to make each space feel
much more generous.

“A near-perfect marriage of
history and contemporary, urban living,” noted the jury. “This design
thoughtfully translates a compact and crowded historic house into a spacious,
light-filled home with surprising celebrations of its history and foundations
in almost archeological ways.”

“This design
thoughtfully translates a compact and crowded historic house into a spacious,
light-filled home with surprising celebrations of its history and foundations
in almost archeological ways.” – Jury comment

Inside, a new open
staircase topped with a skylight allows light to flood the spaces, including
the basement. On the main level, the team removed walls to better connect it to
a modern addition that stretches into the garden. Above, on the second floor,
rooms are opened to the sloping roofline to provide a greater sense of space. A
master bedroom with an abundance of glazing sits on the addition’s second
floor. Danish Douglas fir floors and rich cabinetry foster a warm and minimal
aesthetic throughout all of the spaces.

This project’s timeline was
significantly impacted by the numerous reviews and processes required when
working in one of Washington’s historic neighborhoods. However, the added time
allowed for careful inspection of all design implications, resulting in a
faster construction period.



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