When the client purchased this Georgetown house, prominently perched overlooking the Key Bridge and the Potomac River, he thought that the bathrooms and kitchen needed updating. But after close inspection, it was obvious that the home had much bigger problems. The rear of the house, built on 60 feet of fill, was starting to give way. Architect Mark McInturff brought in helical steel piers to stabilize the structure. A new steel frame gives rigidity to the four-story back addition that dates to the 1970s. As part of the restructuring he removed the second floor of the addition to double the ceiling height to 16 feet and framed the dramatic view with a wall of windows. "It's like a little high-rise of glass rooms," he says. "We call it the view room." The room faces south, but McInturff didn't want to use tinted widows. Instead, teak sunshades shield it from the heat and glare in the summertime. "It's a device that's fairly common in Europe," he notes.
Photo: Julia Heine

In addition to the room with the view, the architect reconfigured half the house. The new interiors are carefully detailed and sleek. They combine a wonderful use of color and texture. All of the wood, including the floors, is beech. The color comes in the form of black painted steel and a blue-tinted Venetian plaster finish on the columns. Category: Renovation or Whole House Makeover; Entrant/Architect: Mcinturff Architects, Bethesda, Md.; Builder: Acadia Contractors, Bethesda