This home is located in the Chevy Chase neighborhood of Washington DC, something you might not have picked up on based on the style. The homeowners, a married couple with a 14 year old son, found an older mid-century house that they fell in love with, despite it needing some repairs. They wanted to update the beloved home to fit their lifestyle, while still honoring it’s uniqueness and allowing it to (discreetly) stand out from the neighbors. Design Architect David Thompson, Principal & Founder of Assembledge+, was just the man for the job.
“Scott is the President and Founder at BioTel Research, experts in medical imaging and cardiac safety testing for clinical trials, and his wife Marilyn is the Senior Writer at Hirshman Zuckerman Design Group in charge of creating branding strategies for a wide range of clients in the lifestyle industry,” David says of his clients. “In the midst of their busy lives, they sought a home that was expressive of a modernist sensibility consisting of an open floor plan, an abundance of natural light, a connectivity to the natural surroundings and clean and simple detailing.”
This project wasn’t the first time the architect had met the family. “Scott and I went to architecture school together at Tulane University in the early nineties and have remained great friends ever since. After college we were partners together for a brief period when Assembledge+ had its home base in New York City.” Naturally, when the family stumbled upon this modernist gem in Washington DC, their first call was to David to collaborate on the revival. Scott and Marilyn had purchased the property from the original owner, an engineer who built the house himself in 1962. “Upon the purchase, they flew me out to DC and Scott and I embarked on a multi-day charette reminiscent of days together back in architecture school,” David recalls.
The house was in desperate need of updating, so they completely gutted it and embarked on a total remodel. The family wanted an open floor plan that allowed for greater connectivity to the property and its natural surroundings. “One of the solutions is a full height glass walls on the rear side of the house connecting with a screened-in-porch with a roof deck, reinforcing a clear conversation between the inside and outside,” the architect explains. “A large expanse of glass was added above the entry door to flood the front of the house with light and create a visual connectivity to the neighborhood.”
The original brick skin of the building was stained a dark charcoal color, while the addition of mahogany siding served as a warm counterpart. The notion of the indoor/outdoor connection was reinforced by introducing the white brick on the interior living room wall, pulling the original skin of the building through the interior. Other interior finishes were kept simple with white walls, oak wood floors and a custom open staircase. Upstairs, the master bedroom and bathroom overlook the outside deck, while the other two bedrooms face the street frontage.
Construction started near the end of 2015 and was completed in the beginning of 2017. The owners paused for a bit and resumed construction of the screened-in porch and the rear yard landscape with final completion in July of 2019.
“I feel that one of the greatest successes of the project is how well it fits into its traditional context,” David concludes. “The project is bold in its expression yet subtle in its execution, which makes it great addition to the community.”