Photography: Jim Tetro
Remodeling: Case Study It was a trade-off: A run-down, poorly constructed house, circa 1969, was located on a spectacular site in Bethesda. The owners were forced to either raze or remodel their home when burst pipes rendered the place uninhabitable; zoning constraints and a goal of preserving existing trees made them opt to remodel. They called on Amy Gardner of Gardner Mohr Architects to create a space that would answer their wishes for a modern, energy-efficient abode with a strong connection to the outdoors.
“The position and orientation of the house were ideal for views and passive solar and natural ventilation, as well as the creation of secluded outdoor spaces,” Gardner says. Located on a sloping lot, the home had a tree house feel to it that the owners wanted to preserve. Gardner and her team designed a whole-house overhaul that would “improve the general building fabric and systems, extend the sense of living outdoors to all seasons and add strategically, staying within the original footprint.”
Doors and windows were enlarged and, in most cases, relocated to capture views. New porches and decks forge a connection to the outdoors, while the new, modern kitchen and baths—including a master bath that cantilevers over the south deck like a tree house—add convenience.
In the interest of preserving the existing structure, Gardner and her team removed, refinished and reinstalled the cedar siding using a rainscreen assembly. Next on the list: a landscape plan that will preserve the wooded site while creating an oasis of native species and a bird garden.
RENOVATION ARCHITECTURE: Amy Gardner, AIA, LEED AP, Gardner Mohr Architects, Silver Spring, Maryland. CONTRACTOR: Charlie Berliner, Berliner Construction, Annapolis, Maryland. PHOTOGRAPHY: Jim Tetro.
AMY GARDNER'S TRADE SECRETS: