Launch Slideshow

The home's stately, Second-Empire-style street elevation is barely changed.

Residence e2

Residence e2

  • The home's stately, Second-Empire-style street elevation is barely changed.

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    The home's stately, Second-Empire-style street elevation is barely changed.

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    Maxwell MacKenzie

    The home's stately, Second Empire–style street elevation is barely changed.

  • Gurney enlarged the 1876 home's rooms to better suit them to the client's modern art collection. He kept the original woodwork profiles within the existing footprint.

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    Gurney enlarged the 1876 home's rooms to better suit them to the client's modern art collection. He kept the original woodwork profiles within the existing footprint.

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    Maxwell MacKenzie

    Gurney enlarged the 1876 home's rooms to better suit them to the client's modern art collection. He kept the original woodwork profiles within the existing footprint.

  • A new kitchen added onto the back of the house received modern detailing, distinguishing it from the older portions of the building.

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    A new kitchen added onto the back of the house received modern detailing, distinguishing it from the older portions of the building.

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    Maxwell MacKenzie

    A new kitchen added onto the back of the house received modern detailing, distinguishing it from the older portions of the building.

  • The sleek addition vastly improves the project's connection with its rear yard.

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    The sleek addition vastly improves the project's connection with its rear yard.

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    Maxwell MacKenzie

    The sleek addition vastly improves the project's connection with its rear yard.

  • The architects saved a couple of the original fireplaces and had them faithfully restored.

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    The architects saved a couple of the original fireplaces and had them faithfully restored.

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    Maxwell MacKenzie

    The architects saved a couple of the original fireplaces and had them faithfully restored.

  • A modern, marble-and-steel master bath.

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    A modern, marble-and-steel master bath.

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    Maxwell MacKenzie

    A modern, marble-and-steel master bath.

  • White walls and dark floors work with the specially designed lighting to show off the art to its best advantage.

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    White walls and dark floors work with the specially designed lighting to show off the art to its best advantage.

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    Maxwell MacKenzie

    White walls and dark floors work with the specially designed lighting to show off the art to its best advantage.

  • Floor plans of the house before renovation.

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    Floor plans of the house before renovation.

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    Courtesy Robert M. Gurney

    Floor plans of the house before renovation.

  • Floor plans of the house after renovation.

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    Floor plans of the house after renovation.

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    Courtesy Robert M. Gurney

    Floor plans of the house after renovation.

robert m. gurney, faia, washington, d.c.

The clients for this Washington, D.C., renovation have young children and a modern art collection—both of which tend to thrive in open floor plans. But the original 1876 house in the city’s Georgetown neighborhood was “a series of very small, compartmentalized spaces,” according to architect Robert M. Gurney, FAIA. He ended up gutting the deteriorating house and reconfiguring the plan with larger, fewer rooms that better accommodate the owners’ lifestyle.

Gurney didn’t want to lose the project’s historic character, though, so he had all of the wood and plaster moldings within the existing home’s footprint matched and remade. He stripped off an old addition on the back of the house and replaced it with a light-filled new one of steel and glass. “It’s a synthesis of the new and modern with the old,” he says.

The judges agreed. “There’s a coherence to the whole,” said one.


Project Credits
principal in charge / project architect / landscape designer: Robert M. Gurney, FAIA, Robert M. Gurney, FAIA, www.robertgurneyarchitect.com
project designer: Claire L. Andreas, Assoc. AIA, Robert M. Gurney, FAIA
general contractor: Adam Prill, Prill Construction Group, Bethesda, Md., www.prillconstruction.com
interior designer: Thérèse Baron Gurney, ASID, Baron Gurney Interiors, Washington, D.C.
project size: 3,600 square feet
site size: 0.8 acre
construction cost: Withheld
photography: Maxwell MacKenzie

Product Details
bathroom fittings and fixtures: Waterworks www.waterworks.com; dishwasher: KitchenAid www.kitchenaid.com; garbage disposer: In-Sink-Erator www.insinkerator.com; hvac equipment: Trane www.trane.com; kitchen fittings and fixtures: Bulthaup Corp. www.bulthaup.com, Waterworks www.waterworks.com; lighting fixtures: Artemide U.S.A. www.artemide.us, BEGA/US www.bega-us.com, Crescent/Stonco www.stoncolighting.com, Lightolier www.lightolier.com; refrigerator: The Liebherr Group www.liebherr-appliances.com

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