Home & Design

Removing three walls opened the view from the primary suite (visible beyond the stair) to the Washington Monument.

Poliform provided the walnut and white-lacquered kitchen cabinetry as well as most of the furniture in the home. The porcelain flooring is from Architessa.

A Stark carpet grounds the main seating area from which panoramic views of the city are front and center.

An inviting sectional plus ottoman/table and two Flexform chairs promote conversation, TV-watching and gazing at the water-vapor fireplace by CFD.

The powder room sports one of several recurring marble sinks and pocket doors.

On the fifth-floor terrace of the duplex, a Royal Botania divan, ottoman, table and chairs make perfect outdoor perches at sunrise—or anytime.

A black-and-white textile print by Paule Marrot makes a bold statement above the upholstered bed in the elegantly spare owners’ suite.

In the primary bath, Sagart combined Agape plumbing elements, a Robern medicine cabinet and a Nero Marquina marble countertop.

One of the home’s two Poliform wardrobes boasts a place for everything.

A wall unit in the dining area boasts copious storage and conceals two standing desks.

Glass Act

Vincent Sagart turns a 1980s Rosslyn condo into a dramatic aerie overlooking DC

The renovation took a year, mostly during covid. But shortly before Christmas 2020, the couple and their two dogs returned to the transformed condo and its jaw-dropping Potomac River overlook. The lawyer and the lobbyist had long hoped to purchase the choice three-bedroom apartment from a neighbor in their Rosslyn building. The 2,245-square-foot duplex hadn’t been updated in 40 years, and the layout hardly maximized the view, which starts with the Washington Monument and takes in a dozen more iconic DC and Virginia landmarks.

The sixth-floor entry foyer opened onto a pair of guest bedrooms plus a full bath. A curved staircase led down to the main living level including the kitchen, which was completely enclosed save for a doorway to the dining room and a pass-through to the living room. Another wall between the staircase and dining room partly obstructed the Potomac panorama.

Three months before the actual purchase in 2018—also the year the owners married—they consulted designer Vincent Sagart of Poliform | sagartstudio in Georgetown, who agreed that demolishing nearly all the walls, floors and systems would be required.

The couple wanted clean lines and a palette that evoked Mid-Century Modernism. They also craved storage, lots of storage. After culling furnishings and accessories, they sold their prior condo and rented a nearby apartment to wait out, and check in on, the renovation. They told Sagart they wanted their remaining possessions—including dual wardrobes, bulky linens, beloved Christmas decorations and prized cooking gear—stored close at hand yet out of sight.

After the covid lockdown, they welcomed the designer’s conversion of one upstairs bedroom into the lawyer’s office complete with a sleep sofa that splits into twin beds for visiting nieces and nephews. A renovated full bath serves both rooms, and the former hall closet is now a coffee bar.

“We clicked on color, styles and materials,” recalls the lawyer of their ongoing dialogue with Sagart. “We wanted something modern that is also warm. What Vincent has done is create what feels like a home.”

Architect Andreas Charalambous prepared drawings of the new infrastructure and architecture that would support Sagart’s vision, which the latter defines as “a clean, contemporary and uncluttered interior that does not compete with the view and does not read ‘design.’ It reads as warm because there are also sentimental pieces from their families.” The residence feels seamless with all-white walls and ceilings and ceramic floor tile indoors and out. Most of the comfortable, stylish furnishings are by Poliform.

For the cabinetry, the couple chose walnut, favored by many important 20th-century furniture designers whose pieces they’d collected for more than 25 years. Today, a number of these treasures add a dose of history to the 21st-century décor.

Demolition and construction began in late 2019, culminating in what Sagart calls “a natural progression of spaces from the foyer toward the dramatic spectacle beyond the wall of glass, as if it were a church altar or the prow of a ship.” He designed the striking metal fireplace enclosure in the living room, rising 12 feet to the ceiling. Dancing “flames” on the raised hearth are actually hot water vapors drifting above fire-colored lights that do not generate heat. On the opposite wall, a large television faces an inviting sectional sofa and a pair of contrasting dark chairs. Glass doors lead outside to the furnished terrace, where guests and owners delight in the view. Gleaming surfaces—glass-fronted cabinetry, the TV screen and multiple glass-and-metal doors—further reflect interior and exterior vignettes, whatever the season, the hour or the weather.

The kitchen and dining room are unified by gray-veined white Carrara marble covering the countertops, the backsplash and a curved rectangular table that seats eight. An “enthusiastic amateur cook,” the lobbyist wanted comfort and order in what he calls his “first real kitchen.” Miele refrigerator and freezer units now bookend the appliance-and-coffee station; an induction cooktop set into the island faces an attached wooden bar to encourage chitchat during food prep.

Likewise, the lawyer, who cherishes memories of doing homey things with his mother and grandmother, is delighted by the full laundry room with a dog-grooming station and a repository for canine paraphernalia that replaced the mishmash of a stacking washer-dryer, an old shower and a linen closet.

The couple’s serene primary suite is anchored by an upholstered platform bed. And, oh, those ultra-organized dressing rooms. “There is a place for everything, from ties, belts and shoes to glasses, shirts and suits, which simplifies getting ready each morning,” enthuses the lawyer.

Gone is the elevator that once conveyed the apartment’s previous owners between floors—but Sagart left space for a new lift should today’s dream digs morph into their forever home.

Although pandemic-era entertaining has been intimate and socially distanced, the couple anticipates many more gatherings come summer. As both like to say, “It’s all about the view, which never gets old.”

Renovation Architecture: Andreas Charalambous, AIA, IIDA, Forma Design, Washington, DC. Architectural & Interior Design: Vincent Sagart, Poliform | sagartstudio, Washington, DC. Renovation Contractor: CMG Construx, Washington, DC. Home Automation: SmartTouch USA, Columbia, Maryland. 

 

RESOURCES

THROUGHOUT
Sliding Doors: rimadesio.it through poliformdc.com. Lighting: deltalight.com through poliformdc.com. Home Automation: smarttouchusa.com.

MAIN LEVEL
Flooring: landmarkceramics.com through architessa.com. Stair Rail Fabrication: cmgdc.com. Paint: benjaminmoore.com.

KITCHEN
Cabinetry, Countertop & Backsplash: poliformdc.com. Sink Faucet: ceadesign.it through poliformdc.com. Hood Insert: mieleusa.com. Hood Design: poliformdc.com; Hood Fabrication: akmetalfab.com. Cooktop: mieleusa.com through poliformdc.com. Island & Bar Stools: poliformdc.com.

DINING
Dining Table & Chairs: poliformdc.com.

LIVING AREA
Sectional & Sectional Fabrics: poliformdc.com. Ottoman & Ottoman Fabric: poliformdc.com. Tray Table: poliformdc.com. Chairs: flexform.it through poliformdc.com. Pedestal Tables: poliformdc.com. Fireplace Design: Custom by poliformdc.com. Fireplace Burner: customfireplacedesign.com. Fireplace Surround: akmetalfab.com. Rugs: starkcarpet.com. Drapery Fabric: romo.com. Drapery Fabrication: yardstickdesign.info. Floor Lamp: vintage. Paint: benjaminmoore.com.

TERRACE
Divan, Ottoman, Table & Chairs: royalbotania.com through poliformdc.com. Pedestal: Clients’ collection.

OWNERS’ BEDROOM
Bed, Bed Upholstery & Chairs: poliformdc.com. Pedestal Table: Clients’ collection. Bedside Drum Table: poliformdc.com. Drapery Fabric: pindler.com. Drapery Fabrication: yardstickdesign.info. Art: Paule Marrot. Rug: kravet.com. Floor Lamp: louispoulsen.com through poliformdc.com. Paint: benjaminmoore.com. Wardrobe: poliformdc.com.

OWNERS’ BATH
Vanity: cmgdc.com, agapedesign.it. Sink & Shower Plumbing: agapedesign.it through poliformdc.com. Countertop: agapedesign.it through poliformdc.com. Flooring: landmarkceramics.com through architessa.com. Mirror & Lighting: robern.com. Toilet: agapedesign.it through poliformdc.com. Shower Flooring & Walls: landmarkceramics.com through architessa.com.

GUEST ROOM
Rug: kravet.com. Bed, Wardrobe & Bench: poliformdc.com. Drapery Fabric: kravet.com. Drapery Fabrication: yardstickdesign.info. Art: Clients’ collection. Nightstand: vintage.

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HOME&DESIGN, published bi-monthly by Homestyles Media Inc., is the premier magazine of architecture and fine interiors for the Washington, DC, Maryland and Virginia region.

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