richard williams architects, washington, d.c.

Keep it simple. This was Richard P. Williams' mantra as he renovated his family's 1943 kit house. The architect knew even before he started sketching that he would upgrade the windows and add a copper roof. Honoring the existing home's rigorous floor plan, he contained the additions within a simple pavilion of flowing spaces. The most frequented areas pinwheel off the living room hub. “We wanted to keep the no-nonsense quality of the plan, but elevate the house to a crafted piece,” says Williams, AIA. Materials like bamboo flooring, blackened steel mullions, and custom concrete pieces satisfied the latter requirement. Twin polycarbonate roof panels distinguish the addition, which draws sunlight from abundant windows. Public areas segue into terraces, making the most of adjacent forested parkland. “We weren't interested in zoomy moves or elaborate details,” Williams says. “I let architectural relationships, natural light, and celebration of materials really come through.” The judges celebrated those decisions, which they said resulted in a “modern house with a lot of warmth” and “an elegant, masterful plan.”

project architect / interior designer: Richard P. Williams, AIA, Richard Williams Architects
general contractor: Brad Pritchard, Pritchard Construction, Bethesda, Md.
project size: 1,820 square feet before, 3,400 square feet after
site size: 0.75 acre
construction cost:
$150 per square foot
photography: Richard P. Williams, except where noted