Project DescriptionFROM AIA VIRGINIA:
Washington, DC and was built in 1928. This Spanish Colonial style apartment building is designated as a contributing property to the Kalorama Triangle Historic District and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Interior spaces, including the main lobby and hallways, are ornate and elaborately detailed. The individual apartments are spacious, with ample windows and varying solar exposure; however, the units are compartmentalized, greatly reducing the sense of space.
Apartment 24 is a transformation of this traditional apartment typology. The design process was one of reduction, with the goal of creating a series of open, interconnected spaces filled with light. The interior was gutted and reorganized within a framework of existing concrete columns and beams, as well as electrical, plumbing and mechanical infrastructure. A centrally located line of columns and beams articulates the entry and main circulation gallery while modulating and articulating a hierarchy of spaces.
In the new scheme, the apartment is rigorously ordered and organized. A vista from the entry extends through the entire apartment, extending the sense of space. The kitchen, living and dining spaces are relocated to ensure that those spaces will receive the majority of sunlight, while the bedrooms and other secondary spaces are positioned toward the interior of the building.
The material palette, which includes dark stained oak flooring, white oak cabinetry and paneling, zebrawood, glass, and aluminum, is intended to provide spatial unity and consistency throughout. Cabinetry and millwork are deployed in a system of horizontally and vertically layers, and work to simultaneously define and unify spaces. Translucent glass panels, employed throughout the apartment, provide a sublime quality while allowing a subtle awareness of space beyond. Detailing throughout is crisp and minimal, contributing to an intended juxtaposition between Apartment 24 and the existing ornate interiors experienced prior to entering the new space.
This reorganization of spaces and open floor plan infuses a design that is intended to be more sensitive to modern lifestyles while demonstrating how a landmark, historical building continues to be a viable option for urban housing in Washington, DC.