Washington, D.C., Home Evokes Both Traditional and Modern Design Languages

Surrounded by iconic Northwest Washington, D.C., landmarks, including the Washington Cathedral, the Naval Observatory, and Embassy Row, the 30th Street House is located on a roughly 1-acre corner lot in Massachusetts Avenue Heights, a small, tree-lined neighborhood with generously sized, traditional homes.

To continue the rhythm of the existing homes on the street, local firm Robert Gurney Architect positioned the house in close proximity to the road, which allows for large, private outdoor areas and green space in the rear.

The home itself is divided into three volumes connected by two “glass links,” or glass-enclosed walkways. On the interior, the volumes provide spaces to accommodate different functions, offering larger public areas and more intimate family zones. From the exterior, the gabled-roof forms, tall chimneys, and steel windows of the volumes evoke a traditional language, while the glass links were designed with crisp detailing and are intended to bring a sense of modernity to the project.

Exterior materials, including the brick and limestone walls, slate roofing, powder-coated steel windows, and copper downspouts, were chosen not only for their ability to blend with the surrounding neighborhood, but also for their resilience against weather-related events.

Despite the home’s generous size, the infrastructure, geothermal HVAC system, and additional energy-saving equipment were all chosen to power, heat, and cool the house efficiently and create an environment that promotes healthy living for an active family.