bonstra | haresign architects, washington, d.c.

It seems every city these days has defunct brick factories that have been modified for residential use. However, this former laundry plant is rare in the nation's capital, as were adaptive reuse projects in its Petworth neighborhood. Bonstra | Haresign's subtle redesign perked up a cheerless façade and set a precedent that other developers have since followed.

The design team zeroed in on the building's 1950s-era eyebrows, grafting on balconies and glassy bays in a playful zigzagging rhythm. Explains William Bonstra, AIA, LEED AP: “The owner's program was to increase the outside space as much as possible. On the sides, we cut balconies into the building because we couldn't project them.”

The judges praised the design's spareness and nonaggressive, “gentle pulsation.” Said one: “It reminds me of these modernist Soviet-style buildings in Mexico City that artists are painting. The juxtaposition between mechanical and materialistic is provocative.”

principal in charge: William J. Bonstra, AIA, LEED AP, Bonstra | Haresign Architects
project designer: Julian Piperov, Bonstra | Haresign Architects
developer: Adrian G. Washington, Neighborhood Development Co., Washington, D.C.
general contractor: Juan H. Powell, NDC Builders, Washington, D.C.
interior designer: Brian Forehand, Bonstra | Haresign Architects
project size: 50,849 square feet
site size: 0.26 acre
construction cost: $175 per square foot
sales price: $250,000 to $900,000 per unit
units in project: 38
photography: Boris Feldblyum, except where noted

product specs
bathroom and kitchen plumbing fittings:Mueller Industries; bathroom and kitchen plumbing fixtures:Kohler Co.; bathroom and kitchen cabinets:Legacy Cabinets; countertops:Granicor; dishwasher, oven, range, refrigerator: Electrolux Home Products (Frigidaire); entry doors, insulation:JELD-WEN; fireplace/wood stove:Kingsman Industries; flooring (bamboo):ecostrong bamboo flooring; flooring (ceramic tile):Dal-Tile Corp.; garage doors:Wayne-Dalton Corp.; garbage disposer:In-Sink-Erator; hardware:Cal-Royal Products; hvac equipment:Bryant Heating & Cooling Systems; lighting fixtures:Lightolier, Lithonia Lighting,Sea Gull Lighting Products, W.A.C. Lighting; paints/stains:The Sherwin-Williams Co.; roofing:Firestone Building Products; trimwork: Traco Industries