January 29, 2021
What started out as a simple window replacement to take advantage of spectacular views of the Potomac River blossomed into a completely transformative renovation. The homeowners wanted something modern in keeping with the aesthetic character of their modern art collection and loved the location of their home, but any new design had to work within the existing structure. The design started modestly and morphed over several years and phases.
The first design concept increased the size and number of windows to help balance unbalanced facades and improve views outward. The addition of a wide two-story bay window on the front to expand the home’s footprint slightly ties the home’s façade together and creates a glowing lantern at night.
The second design notion adds visual interest to the exterior with touches of ornamental metal work. The homeowner’s love of art by Piet Mondrian and the exterior window patterns inspired the custom metal work on the exterior. In contrast to these decorative elements, simple glass railings replace cluttered metal picket railings at the interior stairs and at the raised rear terrace allowing unencumbered views throughout the home, letting the art shine instead.
In addition to the aesthetic modifications, the homeowner sought to improve the home’s energy efficiency. Solar panels were installed. Geothermal wells now inhabit the front driveway. The entire home was air sealed, and insulation added improving energy efficiency. The home’s energy usage dropped by 60% post renovation.
Together these renovations brought a tired late twentieth-century home vividly into the twenty-first century.