Project Description2002 RADA
Renovation / Merit
Bethesda, Md., architect Mark McInturff, FAIA, was wary of working with the local design review board when he took on this renovation in the historic Georgetown section of Washington, D.C. But the board, which counts two architects as members, approved McInturff's Modernist design without comment. "Normally, I'm very anti-design review board," he says. "When there are really skillful people on it, though, it can be a good thing."
His plan for the structurally unsound row house involved stabilizing the building with helical concrete piers imbedded as much as 60 feet into the ground. Then he added a new steel-and-glass frame to the four-story rear facade, and removed an interior floor to create a double-height middle level. Teak sunshades break up the building's verticality. "This project deals with replacing the rear facade in a very interesting way," said one judge. "It fixes a problem and also uses the opportunity to make the old house better."