mcinturff architects, bethesda, md.

The program for this Washington, D.C., remodel was out of the ordinary, so architect Mark McInturff came up with a fittingly unusual solution. His client, the owner of a row house in the city's Capitol Hill neighborhood, had bought the house next door and asked McInturff to unite the two spaces. "The client really bought the adjoining house for its backyard garden--the purchase wasn't driven by a need for additional rooms," says McInturff. "So we had the freedom to design the new space solely as a place from which to enjoy the garden."

The architect gutted the new space and replaced its back wall with glass. Between the first and second floors, he suspended a wooden platform, creating a gallery-like atmosphere upstairs and a cozy master bedroom downstairs. Openings carved into the former party wall connect the two houses.

"He only touched parts of the overall house, but what he did, he did beautifully," said one judge.

project architect: Mark McInturff, AIA, McInturff Architects
general contractor: Donald Malnati, Renovations Unlimited, Washington, D.C.
project size: 2,100 square feet after renovation (700-square-foot addition)
site size: .025 acre
construction cost: $193 per square foot
photographer: Julia Heine, McInturff Architects