georgian residence, washington, d.c.
cunningham + quill architects
The jury admired the way this well-executed Georgian clung to its cul-de-sac curve and mitigated a steeply sloped site. They also commended the architects for deftly handling its hefty square footage. Its 12,500 square feet are broken into five distinct sections, each no more than 30 feet wide and one room deep. The three-story main house connects to a guesthouse on one side and a garage on the other via single-level trapezoidal spaces containing the bright kitchen and impressive library. Those trapezoids show up on the exterior topped by copper roofing and wood-clad cupolas. "It was interesting to keep something this large within a domestic scale," says Ralph Cunningham. "We proposed the idea of breaking it down into pieces from the beginning."
The front facade's stoic demeanor transforms into a more energetic display of terraced entertainment spaces at the rear. Proportions and materials are consistent with Georgian architecture, but Cunningham and Quill bowed to today's affinities for oversized windows and an open axis. "We didn't want the house to seem like a warren of rooms," says Cunningham, "so we created sweeping pathways from end to end."
project architects: Lee Quill and Ralph Cunningham, Cunningham + Quill Architects
builder: Potomac Valley Builders, Poolesville, Md.
landscape architect: Jordan Honeyman Landscape, Washington, D.C.
project size: 12,500 square feet
site size: 0.87 acre
construction cost: $185 per square foot
photographers: Anice Hoachlander (exterior); Maxwell MacKenzie (interiors)