Wissioming Residence / Robert Gurney Architect

© Maxwell MacKenzie Architectural Photographer

This house located in Glen Echo, Maryland is sited on a heavily wooded lot overlooking the Potomac River. Glen Echo stands as a rare enclave of modern houses in suburban Washington, DC. The new house occupies the footprint of a pre-existing house in an effort to minimally disturb the site, removing no mature hardwoods in the process. A new swimming pool is suspended twenty feet above grade to further reduce the impact to the steeply sloping site.

Architects: Robert Gurney Architect
Location: Glen Echo, Maryland,
Project Architect: Brian Tuskey
Contractor: Bloom Builders
Interior Designer: Therese Baron Gurney, ASID
Engineer: D. Anthony Beale LLC
Photographs: Maxwell MacKenzie Architectural Photographer

© Maxwell MacKenzie Architectural Photographer

In an effort to lessen his dependence on the automobile, the owner/ builder required that his office become part of his residential compound. The office is located on the ground floor of a detached structure separated from the main residence by a reflecting pool. That structure also contains a garage on the first level and a guest suite above. Translucent glass and panels of Kalwall are used to allow the building to serve as a lantern to the main house at night.


Structural pre-cast concrete planks are employed throughout the project in effort to expedite the construction process, span large open areas and to provide the ability to heat the house hydronically. Combined with a 5” concrete slab and terrazzo flooring the structural system provides additional passive heating. Large overhangs on the glazed southern wall and the tree canopy minimize solar gain in the summer.

first floor plan

Wood siding is combined with soft gray terne coated stainless steel and black steel window frames to provide an exterior material palette that fits comfortably in the landscape. Bluestone, gravel and water complete the palette.

© Maxwell MacKenzie Architectural Photographer

Interior materials such as white terrazzo flooring, white oak cabinetry and aluminum compliment the light filled and minimally detailed space. The creation of this atmosphere refocuses one’s attention outward, allowing the owner to reconnect with the inherently picturesque site already preserved through the design.

© Maxwell MacKenzie Architectural Photographer
Cite: "Wissioming Residence / Robert Gurney Architect" 09 Feb 2011. ArchDaily. Accessed 30 May 2015. <http://www.archdaily.com/?p=110322>
  • BK

    Wow. Gorgeous, perfection.

  • http://www.matthewsteedwilsonphtography.com matt

    Beautiful. I love the plan and the finishes. I’d only be concerned about the narrow space between the rear facade and the pool, wish there was more room there. Absolutely beautiful though.

  • bjorn

    This is why i loathe American architcture.

    • Louis

      I hate comments like this from bjorn. Care to tell us why?

  • nate

    Not crazy about the elevation next to the garage…not sure what it is. Everything else is very nice though.

  • http://forum.antoniodavanzo.com/member.php?732-MarilynFaq hcg nasal spray

    Pеculiar аrticle, totаllу what
    Ӏ was looking foг.

  • imesha

    hi, may i know what is the size of constructed area of this house?