Knitting this four-unit condobuilding into the heart of Washington’s Sheridan-Kalorama district was, shall we say, a delicate maneuver. The skinny lot is bordered on one side by a six-story hotel, and on the other by a historically significant Flemish revival mansion. Wnuk Spurlock Architects was asked to seamlessly bridge the two.
Rather than going for an antique derivative in the space between, the team opted for what principal Steven Spurlock refers to as historic abstraction. “We wanted a structure that felt sensitive and compatible, but not faux,” he says. “The architecture needed to be of our time, but it also needed a look that felt indigenous to the neighborhood.”
To this end, the boutique building is clad in a compatible palette of limestone, brick, and copper. And its sill heights and brick banding are latitudinally aligned with the mansion next door, preserving the rhythm of the street. Yet its expression is wholly modern. Limestone screens resembling abstracted bays give lightness to the massing, as does a clerestory band of glass on the top floor, which steps back from the street to downplay the building height.
Side-yard clearances required by the Historic Preservation Review Board ultimately dictated the floor plan layouts inside the building. Kitchen, dining, and living areas with projecting terraces occupy the widest point of the envelope, with front and rear bedrooms tapering off to form bookends for each of the units. The project has a green roof for stormwater management, and alley-accessed subterranean parking.
Learn more about markets featured in this article: Washington, DC.