Located in the Edgemoore community of Bethesda, the client for this project was a young, forward thinking entrepreneur with no desire for a nostalgic or revivalist style house. Rather, the client desired a house that was efficient and with a minimal footprint, leaving the majority of the lot unoccupied by building and hardscape.
More photographs and drawings following the break.
Architects: Robert Gurney Architect
Location: Bethesda, Maryland, USA
Project Architect: Brian Tuskey
Contractor: John Thompson
Engineer: D. Anthony Beale LLC
Project Area: 2,200 sqf
Project Year: 2010
Photographs: Maxwell MacKenzie Architectural Photographer
After much deliberation, it was decided to remove an existing, inefficient structure and replace it with a new one. The new house occupies one third less area than the original structure and is sited to maximize green area on the property. Designed as a cube, the new house is approximately 2,200 square feet with no unused or underutilized spaces. The flat roof provides an additional 1,100 square feet of outdoor living space with views of treetops and the downtown Bethesda skyline.
Fenestration in the ground faced block walls, composed of varying sized rectangular and square openings, is arranged to optimize views to the green spaces while minimizing views of adjacent houses in close proximity. A series of landscape walls orchestrate the relationship between the street, required parking court and house. Interior spaces are open and light filled with crisp detailing. Walnut flooring provides a rich base for white walls and millwork, designed in juxtaposition to the charcoal gray exterior walls.
This house represents a deliberate departure in both the thought process and the realization of current building trends in the neighborhood. Instead of building a large house with pretentious ties to the rural past, this new house is smaller with a stronger relationship to the modern, urban area that Bethesda has become. The house is intended to be more site sensitive, environmentally conscious, and to provide comfortable, efficient living spaces.