Modern Marvel – Home & Design Magazine
The 2-acre web site going through Battery Kemble, a nationwide park in Northwest Washington, was a tangle of bamboo and invasive weeds when the developer assembled a design crew. For architect Wouter Boer, Campion Hruby Panorama Architects and the constructing firm Zantzinger, the problem started with a steep, eroding slope and ended with two boldly up to date homes and a contemporary panorama complementing a 270-degree view of the treetops.
On a current morning, daylight illuminated the excessive fashionable achievement: a white stucco-and-glass home set right into a slope bristling with native grasses. In type, the dwelling resembles randomly stacked containers, their flat roofs topped with sedum.
Boer, principal of his eponymous Dupont Circle agency, leads a tour of the primary of two homes he designed on the positioning. Accomplished in 2021, this one is just not but occupied (and is in the marketplace for $11.95 million). The second is occupied by the undertaking’s developer, Bryce Arrowood of Cliveden Group, LLC, who walked over to hitch the tour. Each males are unapologetic about departing from the basic Tudor-and-azalea persona of the encircling Wesley Heights neighborhood.
“I needed it to really feel fashionable for at the moment,” says the architect. Through the years, he contributed his share of traditionally styled residences to the cityscape in partnership with architect David Jones. However since Jones retired in 2020, Boer has given license to his personal Bauhaus leanings. “I’ve all the time had a ardour for contemporary structure,” he says. “Mies van der Rohe is form of my hero architect.”
For this home, Boer drew inspiration from Mies’ iconic 1945 Farnsworth Home. A masterpiece of white metal and glass, the weekend cottage in Illinois incorporates only one room. In distinction, Boer’s homage boasts 8,600 sq. ft of pristine plaster and floor-to-ceiling glass, with six bedrooms and 7 and a half baths; its 4 ranges are linked by a steel-and-glass staircase with floating oak treads (plus an elevator).
Boer calls the home “sparsely detailed,” but the fabric palette is something however spartan. Portuguese limestone paves the principle stage, warmed by radiant heating, whereas white oak flooring prevails elsewhere. Gleaming accent partitions and kitchen cabinetry are teak veneer. The first bed room closet bears 17 layers of high-gloss white lacquer. As Boer observes, “fashionable structure is all in regards to the high quality of the supplies”—and on this case, luxurious surfaces are greater than a glossy backdrop. “The [lack of] decoration turns into the decoration,” the architect explains.
Anodized aluminum doorways on the two-car storage shimmer within the morning mild. From the spare entry courtroom, a three-story, glass-walled corridor results in a dramatic, 65-foot-long rectangular dwelling area. A floating teak partition holds a two-sided-fireplace. The room’s lengthy, west-facing wall affords floor-to-ceiling glass overlooking the adjoining park. Past, a streamlined kitchen with Calacatta Covelano marble counters opens to a terrace practically 30 ft above grade.
4 of the six bedrooms are organized on the second flooring, whereas the highest stage is dedicated to a personal examine with a terrace set above the tree cover. A decrease flooring with additional bedrooms, a 1,000-bottle, glass-walled wine cellar, a yoga studio and gathering area offers solution to a terrace and a 25-foot-long, infinity-edge pool. In the lounge, Boer factors out slim metal columns that just about disappear in alignment with the silvery window frames. Not seen is the footing—15 ft huge and eight ft deep beneath the pool—which stabilizes your entire home. “It takes a number of structural finesse to make it look so easy,” the architect affirms.
Earlier than this undertaking even started to take form, an current home needed to be demolished and the road prolonged to allow entry. (That spur is now a personal drive to the 2 homes Boer designed, in addition to a 3rd dwelling in a transitional type.)
“We actually needed to carve every lot out of the woods,” recollects Zantzinger development supervisor Gavin Stannard, who spent three years on web site throughout development. Panorama architects Kevin Campion and Stephen Makrinos planted 40-foot-tall pin oaks to display screen a barely seen neighbor to the south whereas additionally coping with stormwater interventions. Managing the circulation reverse a nationwide park engaged the Military Corps of Engineers and required a number of bioretention options. A six-foot-wide swale stuffed with 80 tons of huge grey rock snakes alongside the drive in entrance of the homes.
“It’s not a small quantity of water,” factors out Makrinos, who was happy that there was a price range for plantings to make the world look extra pure. “There may be an allée of river birch popping out of the grasses; it feels fashionable, just like the structure.” Golden groundsel, blue camassia and amethyst blazing star soften the hardscape surrounding the home.
Flat roof surfaces, seen from inside, had been planted with sedum by Furbish, a Baltimore green-roof specialist. “Aesthetically, you’re bringing the panorama as much as the home,” Makrinos says. “All you see is inexperienced.”
As for realizing Boer’s imaginative and prescient, the challenges seem to have been met. Stannard observes that in fashionable structure, “All of the conventions, every thing you understand about making a home, exit the window.” Specialised craftsmen are required, tolerances are small and framing should be exact. If every thing is ordered rigorously, all of it works. In Stannard’s opinion, this undertaking was near flawless. “Wouter Boer,” he concludes, “is an artist.”
Structure: Wouter Boer, AIA, principal; Phillip McGee, undertaking architect, Wouter Boer Architects Inc., Washington, DC. Panorama Structure: Kevin Campion, ASLA, principal; Stephen Makrinos, senior affiliate, Campion Hruby Panorama Architects, Annapolis, Maryland. Builder: Zantzinger, Inc., Washington, DC. Structural Engineer: Ehlert Bryan, Washington, DC.
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