cunningham + quill architects, washington, d.c

Unlike politics, architecture has second acts. This original kitchen was outdated, extremely dark, and cut off from the rest of the house, says Ralph Cunningham, but it's reincarnated as a light-filled space with a felicitous floor-plan flow.

In addition to fixing the circulation problems, the client wanted more space and a visual connection to the family room. A pass-through overlooking the sink provides that sight line between cooks in the kitchen and guests lolling in the family room without revealing the clutter behind the scenes. The architects brought in loads of daylighting with a large window, a ceiling of skylights, and clerestory windows deftly framed by floor-to-ceiling custom cabinetry.

The judges particularly appreciated the sophisticated woodwork around the clerestory windows and the smart separation of cooking and cleanup areas.

project architect: Scott Matties, Cunningham + Quill Architects
general contractor: Scott Hundley, Potomac Valley Builders, Poolesville, Md.
project size: 300 square feet
construction cost: Withheld
photographer: Anice Hoachlander