Text by Nate Berg
In a world of square rooms and right angles, a circular building is a spatial conundrum. A round layout worked for this three-story brick building in Washington, D.C., back when it was a Naval Officers Club in the 1940s. But half a century later, it was split into two 2,000-square-foot condos—each an even more confounding half-circle—creating oddly shaped rooms and compartmentalized spaces. To rework the interior of one of these half-circle homes, local architect Robert M. Gurney gutted it and dramatically reconfigured the entire layout.
The remodeled space, which was built out by local contractor Added Dimensions, is now three stories of largely open floor plans, with only the simplest enclosures for bedrooms and restrooms. Dark stained oak flooring is used throughout the home, and new black steel windows and door frames jump out from stark white walls.
The first floor, which contains the living room and kitchen, feels long and straight despite its curving wall. The illusion is helped by the reconfigured staircase that leads up from the basement, which has been changed from a curve to a straight line. The home’s curvature is undeniably still there, but it’s now more of a feature than a confusing burden.
“It’s well-detailed. The architects maintained a fair amount of the building’s form, and I appreciate the transparency.”
— Juror Katherine Hogan
Architect: Robert M. Gurney, FAIA, Architect
Builder: Added Dimensions
Size: 2,000 square feet