muse architects, washington, d.c.

For Stephen Muse, FAIA, renovating a significant older building brings certain responsibilities. “You always want to pay tribute to the historic house,” he says. The subtle, refined way he and his firm did just that at this Maryland residence won effusive praise from the judges. “They started with a wonderful building and added to it with something just as wonderful,” said one.

The owners of the original, 300-year-old manor house desired an addition that would allow them to live mostly on the first floor. But, understandably, they feared any changes they made would damage the allure of the existing structure. Muse came up with a strategy to allay their concerns—namely, a series of pavilions linked to the main house and to one another by windowed galleries. The procession of spaces includes a new kitchen and family room, a master suite, and an entry hall. As part of the overall renovation, he had the original house painted and reroofed and chose the addition's siding, windows, roofing, and shutters to match. But he left the historic brick untouched as a telltale distinction between old and new.

“While it's all of a piece, there are clues like that that help you understand what was original,” one judge noted. “It's extremely well done.”

principal in charge: Stephen Muse, FAIA, Muse Architects
project architect: Nancy McCarren, AIA, Muse Architects
general contractor: George Fritz, Horizon Builders Inc., Crofton, Md.
landscape architect: Peter Viteretto, Heritage Landscapes, Norwalk, Conn.
project size: 1,097 square feet before, 3,617 square feet after
site size: 412 acres
construction cost: Withheld
photography: Robert C. Lautman, except where noted