Text by Edward Keegan
The Rock Creek House is a startling renovation of a traditional, brick, 1920s home in Washington, D.C. Boston-based architectural firm NADAAA recaptured the attic and basement spaces of the original, two-story structure to create a new, 10,193-square-foot, four-story masonry dwelling within the perimeter of the original. Some semblance of the front, north façade’s formal order is preserved, but the home’s southern side, which faces Rock Creek, is reorganized as a more open and informal composition with a seemingly randomized placement of windows and openings—a nod to the naturalistic landscape.
The interior is reimagined as a more modern series of experiences, highlighted by two multi-height spaces. A new living room dominates the lower, garden level, which is connected to the entry level via a new opening and stair. A three-story central stair hall links the entrance to the former attic level. Both stairs feature laminated plywood constructions that subtly refer to the striated reorganization of space that marks the transition from old to new. The plywood constructions also house new additions, including closets, seats, and window frames—a vibrant architectural vocabulary for an old house.
The interventions are intelligent. The façades are fantastic. This is one of the most innovative projects we’ve seen.
— Juror Steven Ehrlich
Size: 10,193 square feet