Building on the foundations of a former brick Colonial residence demolished to realize this new pavilion, Studio Twenty Seven Architecture worked collaboratively with owner Johannes Zutt to create a 2,500 sqf house they envisioned as “a city in the garden.” Zutt, a peripatetic Dutch national, desired a modern domestic space with open plan living and minimalist detailing recalling the European architecture of Luigi Snozzi, Rem Koolhaas, and Pierre Chareau. Rooms are arranged within the house to form public and private spaces in the same manner that buildings are arranged in an urban setting to create streets, plazas, and alleys. The result is a contemporary dwelling designed using rigorous programming and critical logic to carefully evaluate the function and efficiency of every element within the home.
Architect: Studio Twenty Seven Architecture
Location: Chevy Chase, Maryland, USA
Project Team: John K. Burke (AIA), Todd Ray (AIA, LEED-AP), Raymond Curtis (Assoc. AIA), Amy Krosnowski, Alexander S. Coll, Jonathan Chung
Contractor: Glass Construction Company
Structural Engineer: Ehlert Bryan Inc.
MEP Engineer: Metropolitan Engineering Inc.
Project Area: 3,000 sqf
Project Year: 2005
Photographs: Maxwell Mackenzie
The primary space of the house includes a volumetric light monitor that plunges from the rooftop deep into the living space. At the very top it affords a third-story loft accessed from the second-story bedroom it also contains. Warm-toned maple flooring and millwork complement the cast-concrete countertop and china closet.
Outside, the long, narrow site rises steeply from the street, leveling at the house and gently sloping upward to a wooded thicket. In deference to the neighborhood context, the house’s mass and proportions complement surrounding homes and respect the prevailing setback from the street. Corrugated aluminum siding, shiplap cedar siding, and painted brick clad the exterior. These materials are layered on the steel frame to reinforce the expression of public and private spaces within the house. Private spaces receive an additional layer of siding, while the siding is gradually peeled away in public areas to engender openness to the landscape.