Set atop a steeply sloping site, the Franzen House’s wood-framed shou sugi ban exterior with concrete end walls appears as a two-story structure from the street, yet the home extends an additional two stories below to maximize the steep grade. Accessed by a bridge that extends from the street and ends with a viewing platform, the home’s entrance is “modulated as a series of experiences that lead you away from the street and ultimately into a tranquil environment to enjoy the serene, wooded landscape,” the project application reads. The home’s mostly glass rear elevation frames the undisturbed woodland and the native plants that grow right up to the structure.
Category: Custom Home: 5,000 square feet or less
Architect: Robert M. Gurney Architect
Builder: Commonwealth Building and Design
Location: Bethesda, Maryland
Size: 4,850 square feet