Residential Design

VOL4 2019

A business-to-business magazine focused on the collaborative process and talented work of residential architects and custom homebuilders.

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The leafy neighborhoods along the Potomac River in Washington, D.C.'s privileged inner-ring suburbs offer an ideal combination of urbanity and livability. Yet their downside is the tight lots, closely spaced houses, and busy roads. Mark McInturff, FAIA, sought to preserve privacy when he designed a house for a married couple along the waterway that divides Virginia from D.C. Just minutes from the Capital's commercial corridors, the half-acre property is small but parklike, plunging to a wooded creek ravine, while houses on the other side of the street overlook the Potomac River. The wife, who is from Morocco, wanted a house built around an airy, courtyard-like living room with high ceilings and natural light. She and her husband, a retired businessman, also requested materials that felt solid and permanent. Mark and his team are used to such challenges. "One thing I like about practicing in Washington is that we have an amazingly diverse interna- tional, educated clientele," he says. "So when people come to us with an idea that has cultural significance to them, we run with it." Mark drew a three-part building that touches every setback on the allowable footprint. The structure con- sists of a double-height glass and steel core—the living room "courtyard"— bookended by two robust concrete wings with thick walls, smaller win- dows, and white stucco surfaces. Those wings contain the private spaces— kitchen, dining, and family room on the first floor, three bedrooms and a study above. With 6-foot-wide hallways as connecting hyphens, the three volumes are identical in width, but each one steps a little farther into the backyard to soak up the southwestern exposure. The team's design kept the general idea of a Moorish courtyard house but emphasizes strong geometries and the This page and opposite: On a tight urban lot, the large house titrates privacy and openness. Mesh screens divide the foyer from the living room but slide open in a number of configurations to steer party flow. 69 VOL. 4, 2019 RESIDENTIALDESIGNMAGA ZINE.COM

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