Washington, D.C., USA
1630 Riggs Place, located in Washington, D.C., is part of a coordinated row of 13 houses built between 1892 and 1899 that has been recently renovated and transformed by Robert M. Gurney, intended to be referential but not duplicitous, optimistic, and durable.
Due to its contextual but not imitative renovation, 1630 Riggs Place has recently been awarded a 2022 American Architecture Award by The Chicago Athenaeum: Museum of Architecture and Design and The European Centre for Architecture Art Design and Urban Studies.
The original Queen Anne architecture has remained very much intact in the front and mostly intact at the rear.
The 20 feet wide x 36 feet deep houses comprise a cellar with three living levels above.
Like most houses constructed at this time, spaces were enclosed and separated to differentiate functions.
In the 20th century, one-story doglegs were added to some of the houses, and more recently two-story and three-story additions were added to three of the houses.
The owner of this project inherited a property that had been unoccupied for years and was deteriorating in great disrepair.
Prevalent water damage and general neglect left little of the interior to salvage.
In the redevelopment, the interior was gutted, paving the way for a more functional and open floor plan.
At the south-facing rear, a new one-story addition, comprised of brick, steel, and glass is designed with respect to the history, scale, and integrity of the row.
The cellar floor was lowered to 16” to provide additional ceiling height.
The steel and glass addition continues to this level, carved into a new light well.
The house is organized around an open riser, transverse, split-level stair with a skylight.
The living space, dining space, and kitchen occupy the first floor, the primary bedroom suite resides on the second floor and two additional bedroom suites comprise the top floor.
The basement level is dedicated to a home workspace, utilizing an existing lower entry vestibule to provide a separate means of access in the front.
An elevator connects all four levels.
The material palette is chosen to enrich the spaces.
Materials include reclaimed white oak plank flooring and walls, hot-rolled steel, welded wire fabric, a concrete countertop, and tiles chosen for their durability and ease of maintenance.
These materials are juxtaposed against gray-stained, quarter-sawn white oak paneling, etched glass, and white lacquered millwork with the goal of yielding a composition that is restrained and polished.
Project: 1630 Riggs Place
Architects: Robert M. Gurney
Lead Architect: Robert M. Gurney
General Contractor: Peterson + Collins
Photographers: Anice Hoachlander and Davis Photography