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Washington, Va., Residence

Robert M. Gurney, FAIA

Project Name

Washington, Va., Residence

Project Status



4,800 sq. feet


  • M.T. Puskar Construction Co.
  • Interior Designer: Ed Perlman
  • Paul Warchol
  • Robert M. Gurney





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Project Description

2005 CHDA
Custom Renovation / Merit Award

The clients for this rural Virginia renovation loved their 18th-century farmhouse. But they wanted a few items it didn't have—an expansive entertaining space, a bathroom that was easily accessible from the outdoors, and a mudroom where they could put dirty shoes and coats before entering the main house. So they asked architect Bob Gurney to help them out.

Gurney gave them a three-part addition and renovation that honors the existing house and strengthens its connection to its pastoral site. “It's agrarian Modernism, straight-up,” said one judge admiringly. A glass-walled pavilion added onto the home's southwest side provides the casual living and dining area the clients were looking for while bringing in views of rolling hills and grazing horses. A clapboard structure behind it accommodates the mud-room and bath, its standing-seam metal roof and white-painted siding echoing those of the original building. And an entry hall, stairway, and remodeled kitchen act as the transitional spaces between the old house and its new addition. This last portion combines elements of the old house, like the original kitchen windows and a paneled pantry door, with Modernist elements such as large panes of glass and contemporary lighting.

Even the board-formed concrete chimney in the living room sneaks in an homage to the venerable farmhouse. Builders Michael Puskar and Chris Stanton used boards from an old barn on the site to make the forms, so the new chimney serves as a fossil of the property's past. “It has the imprint of the old barn,” says Gurney. “We thought it would be a nice gesture.”
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