Home & Design

Before: front view

After: rear view

Before: rear view

After: front view

Before + After: Build

Architect Robert M. Gurney puts a modern spin on a mundane, 1960s abode in DC’s Spring Valley neighborhood

"Changes to prevalent developer houses in desirable neighborhoods are inevitable,” observes architect Robert Gurney. “While this renovation incorporated significant additional space, the goal was to add a new layer to the building’s existing fabric. The massing, architectural language and material palette created a home that is updated, modern and functional while respecting the context of the established neighborhood.”

Then Now
The run-of-the-mill spec house was too small; over the years, poorly designed renovations and additions had not answered the owners’ needs. The home has been enlarged with new volumes adding a much-needed entry, screened pavilion and second-story office while maintaining the scale and rhythm of the streetscape.
The building was dark, encompassing a hodgepodge of styles, details and finishes. Expanses of glass now organize the interiors more efficiently, introducing natural light and a sense of openness throughout sleek, streamlined spaces.
The residence was part of a post-War development of similar, one-story residences. Its unremarkable front façade lacked curb appeal. The owners wanted to conjure a stylish aesthetic using a material palette consistent with what was already around them. Black-framed windows add an industrial-modern touch, while a central gable sounds an abstracted-traditional note. Painted clapboard siding, stone and slate roofing are in keeping with the surrounding homes.   

Renovation Architecture: Robert M. Gurney, FAIA, Robert M. Gurney, FAIA Architect, Washington, DC. Renovation Contractor: Added Dimensions, Inc., Takoma Park, Maryland. Landscape Architecture: Campion Hruby Landscape Architects, Annapolis, Maryland.

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