Anice Hoachlander

With the goal to provide an affordable housing option in a space that was previously used for storage, Studio.MP2 is a 375-square-foot, one-bedroom accessory dwelling unit that is situated behind a mixed-use building constructed in 1913. The Washington, D.C.–based project is accessible only from a public alley and comprises a shell with brick walls, a concrete slab, and exposed roof framing with two skylights.

Anice Hoachlander

Local firm Robert Gurney Architect utilized the existing structure, materials, and infrastructure to reduce waste and preserve the historic character of the building and neighborhood.

The interior renovation was largely constructed of readily available materials, including pine slats, birch plywood, and stock cabinets. The wood slats conceal masonry walls that were a mixture of spalled brick, concrete block, and terra-cotta tile and continue along the ceiling to hide new infrastructure and insulation. Plus, a charred-wood volume contains the closet and separates the bedroom.

“The combination of different wood elements serves to both unify and enrich the spaces, while the end walls are rendered in color to enliven the composition,” says the firm.

Operable windows allow for fresh air and ventilation, skylights provide natural light, and the most efficient mechanical, electrical, and plumbing systems have been used to further enhance the unit.