randall mars architects, mclean

The pool pavilion reduces the architecture of the house to its minimal essence," says architect Randy Mars of this late addition to a house he also designed. The jury agreed, calling the pavilion "a little gem" and "just a great space to be in."

An existing landscape wall curves out from the house and appears to slice through the pavilion, visually linking the two structures. Built into a sharply graded riverfront site, the pool house's lower level (guest bedroom, bath, and wine cellar) sinks into the hill so only the transparent main floor (kitchen, play loft, and spa) can be seen. Oversized custom sliders expose the sunken spa. In-floor radiant heat and a deep overhang encourage multi-season al fresco dipping. Interior materials like concrete and stainless steel also resist weather incursions. On temperate days, an adjacent deck--cantilevered over the site's steep decline--and the pool's grassy surround provide plenty of outdoor entertainment space.

project architect: Randall Mars, Randall Mars Architects
general contractor: Robert Pollard, Pollard Construction, Alexandria, Va.
landscape architect: Lila Fendrick, Lila Fendrick Landscape Architecture, Bethesda, Md.
interior designer: Ann Weir, In Design, McLean
project size: 1,000 square feet
site size: 2.5 acres
construction cost: Withheld
photographer: Anice Hoachlander