Home & Design

A copper overhang protects the entryway, clad in copper, dragon-scale siding to reference the home’s vintage era.

Restoring the building's front façade was part of the project.

One of the chimneys under restoration.

New terracotta chimney pots adorn the finished chimney.

The pool and hot tub during construction.

A view of the rooftop during construction.

While Ipe clads most surfaces of the roof deck, glass panels under the chaise longues admit light into the house.

Before + After

Trout Design Studio devises a welcoming oasis atop a vintage Dupont Circle row house

Homeowners who hired architect Michael Lee Beidler of Trout Design Studio to remodel their urban row house wanted to enjoy treetop views of the city from its roof. “They love original techniques and materials and the hand of an artisan at work,” Beidler says. “Integrating craftsman style like that is right in our wheelhouse.”

Taking cues from his clients, he and his team created an inviting rooftop retreat. First on the agenda: replacing the sloping roof and installing a steel-reinforced structural system above it to support a new deck. They also installed a custom, stainless-steel pool and hot tub prefabricated by Colorado-based Diamond Spas.

Suspended four feet above the structural system, the deck combines a glass-paneled section of flooring—actually a ceiling over the staircase that brings light into the interiors—and ipe decking, privacy walls and screens that protect the pools while channeling breezes. Hand-worked, dragon-scale copper siding was inspired by dragon-scale slate roofs on surrounding buildings. An overhang by the entrance is copper, as is the custom gas fire pit.

Both the clients’ chimney and their neighbors’ became part of the project because of their conspicuous locations. They were restored with fresh brick and handmade clay chimney pots. “We wanted a beautiful profile to look at,” Beidler explains. “The way architecture touches the sky is important.”

Renovation Architecture: Michael Lee Beidler, principal, Trout Design Studio, Washington, DC. Builder: Doug Hellman, ILEX Construction, Washington, DC. 

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