Project DescriptionThe 10th Street Duplexes are two new infill townhouses, on two lots in the Shaw and Blagden Alley historic districts. The street consists primarily of Victorian townhouses but the site is situated directly between a mid-century apartment building and two small single family row houses. The main challenge was to design housing that would reinforce the existing historic urban fabric as well as fill the gap between two starkly contrasting styles and scales.
The solution was to update the Victorian townhouse typology and adapt it to meet the needs of modern life. The front bays, number of stories, entry sequence and materials were directly inspired by the existing context in order to complement the public realm and give unity to the street. Both buildings are finished with manganese iron spot brick on the front and weathered zinc corrugated metal on the back. Corner wrapping casement windows provide a contrasting pattern to that of the existing Victorian row houses in the street, but a compatible scale. Simple, neutral interior finishes provide a serene backdrop within which to take a pause.
The living area in each unit is double height, creating a light and airy space that emphasizes its individuality. The lower units have access to private patios in the front and rear and the upper units have roof decks with expansive views of the nation’s capital.
In urban housing where nature and sky are scarce, the design emphasizes equally comfortable indoor and outdoor spaces to provide respite from the bustling city.