By Nigel F. Maynard These 30 townhomes posed a heck of a design challenge for Devereaux and Associates. The site has a steep grade that slopes toward a lake, and because one street within the 6.7-acre community had already been put in, the architects needed to build into the hillside and cascade the homes to the water for easy access.

Given the sloping site, most of the living areas needed to be located on the lower levels. "We were concerned," principal Bill Devereaux says. "We needed to have living spaces that invite people downstairs. But how do you get people to look at the lower level as valuable?"

The design solves the problem with a grand reception level that looks down on living spaces and out to the water. From the street, only one and half stories are visible. But the units range from four to five levels. "The design [solution] essentially took three basements," Devereaux says. Located in a community with a modern bent, the 3,021-square-foot homes have clean, shutter-free exteriors and fiber cement siding. Prices start in the low $700s.

Category: Townhouses, over 2,000 square feet; Entrant/Builder/ Developer/Land Planner: Stanley Martin Cos., Reston, Va.; Architect: Devereaux and Associates, McLean, Va.; Landscape Architect: Stadler Nursery, Braddock Heights, Md.; Interior Designer: Model Home Interiors, Beltsville, Md.

Photo: Alan Goldstein Photography

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