Once a mediocre post-war house built to minimal standards, Division1 Architects transformed the dated structure into a modernist nest for a growing family. The architects were asked to re-imagine the house as a modernist dwelling that could once again meld with the landscape, and provide a open and airy interior with lots of room for a family of four. What Division1 came up with was a highly efficient design that kept true to the original foundation and basic structure of the house, but re-vamped to reveal an utterly new floor plan and profile. The resulting retrofit now reflects a rich and functional home that rests peacefully on a wooded lot.
The Bethesda, Maryland house was originally a hastily constructed stick frame affair with few windows and a awkward floor plan. The walls and windows were energy hogs and the house had a complete disconnect with the outside– after all, the best thing it had going was a 3/4 acre gently sloping wooded lot.
The renovation maintains the original footprint and the ground level structural walls have been kept intact, but the house has been completely reinvented with efficiency — site and function in mind. The 3,500 square foot home is divided into cubes delineating spaces, with a double height living room opening up to the wooded backyard. Shade trees and outside louvers keep the home from overheating in the summer. The stair well is graced with an elongated skylight to feed both stories with daylight in the core of the home. The highly organized floor plan uses long sight lines to connect the home visually. A downstairs public area connects with the outside. The second floor contains the three bedrooms set in the corners of the home, and a central open hall binds the quadrants together to create a fresh and inspired living place.
Photos © Debbie Fox Photography