The owner worked with DC-based Studio:CrowleyHall, a residential architecture firm with a penchant for a very personal approach to quality modern design. Together they developed a design that would make use of this prime site while respecting the adjacent architectural heritage.
From the beginning, efforts were made to demonstrate the feasibility of sustainable building and development. Instead of just demolishing the house, it was disassembled – piece by piece. Asphalt shingles were recycled, wood that was not reusable was ground up to create mulch, the entire concrete block masonry foundation was recycled, cast iron pipes and radiators were recycled and an great number of the original 18-20 foot wood floor and ceiling joists were donated to Community Forklift – a non-profit that sells reclaimed building materials. Many of those timbers are being used in new projects today. As a result, demolition costs were cut in half and the amount of material that went to landfill was reduced by approximately 60%.
The site was then excavated to accommodate 9’ basement ceilings with two separate entrance areaways and concrete stairwells to grade. The footprint was expanded slightly while leaving plenty of green space on this 4,800 SF corner lot.
The design is truly unique: It features a curved hallway of exposed Douglas Fir timbers that act as a load bearing element and reach all the way to the roof, creating a verticality that complements the already expansive openness of the floor plans.
The new residence features a custom master suite and three additional rooms on the 2nd floor. The first floor includes a spacious great room with uninhibited views from the cook’s kitchen all the way into living room. The basement makes room for an in-law suite as well as a spacious workshop for the owner.
In addition to the manner with which the original structure was disassembled and recycled, this project incorporates several elements that align with the goals of sustainable design. The eaves are designed to shade the interior during the summer and, in the winter, let the sun’s warmth and light inside to help warm the home. The building was situated on the site to take advantage of natural breezes which assist with cooling and provides fresh air ventilation. Hydronic radiant floor heating makes up much of the first and second floors reducing the need for forced air heat. Forced-air mechanical systems include a two-stage natural gas-fired furnace with variable speed air handlers and are among the most efficient available. A heat pump offers further support for the lofty 2nd and 3rd floors. The project utilizes natural, sustainable materials where possible, such as concrete, wood and glass. The beautiful Douglas Fir timbers were sourced from sustainable managed forests. Concrete counter tops are planned in the kitchen. Much of the wood-siding is reclaimed lumber interspersed with concrete fiberboard. Reclaimed oak flooring is planned throughout the first and second floors.
At completion, this handsome home will provide approximately 3,300 square feet in 5 bedrooms, 3 ½ baths, a vast kitchen/dining/living room, a home office, a full in-law suite and approximately 700 square feet of workshop & storage space.