Project Description2003 CHDA
Custom Home 3,000 to 5,000 Sq. Ft. / Merit Award
Architect David Jameson did not have “mansion” on his mind when he designed his family's new home in a long-established suburb of Washington, D.C. Instead, he combined good design with neighborliness and built a house that, while Modern and 4,400 square feet, settles comfortably amid the smaller cottages and bungalows that surround it.
In order to respect the neighborhood scale, Jameson felt compelled to “break down the volume of our bigger house into articulated parts.” His design used two parallel but distinct volumes, a gable and a barrel vault, tied together by a gallery. He pulled the traditional gable form toward the street, where it echoes the forms of surrounding houses. The more modern vaulted volume is pushed back behind a large cedar, diminishing its impact on the streetscape. The front entry stands out with a lead-coated copper brise-soleil that abstractly mimics nearby porches. The jury particularly liked the “simplicity of geometric volumes put together in a nice way.”
Inside, Jameson stuck to a time-honored floor plan of formal areas flanking the foyer and more casual spaces in back. The interior is treated with crisp drywall detailing and finished with sleek materials like polished black granite, stainless steel, frosted glass interior walls, and natural maple floors. Airy rooms feature exacting patterns of clear glass that admit daylight while cleverly framing slices of nature. Jameson speced floor-to-ceiling windows and doors to give the illusion of height to 8-foot ceilings. Although his contemporary aesthetic demanded a double-tall family room, Jameson also wanted to feel comfortable with two or 20 people in it. “By creating a personable scale with wall and window details,” he says, “you can make open spaces work as everyday living for a small family.”