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Sumit Singhal
Sumit Singhal
Sumit Singhal loves modern architecture. He comes from a family of builders who have built more than 20 projects in the last ten years near Delhi in India. He has recently started writing about the architectural projects that catch his imagination.

DIFFICULT RUN RESIDENCE in Mclean, Virginia by Robert M. Gurney, FAIA, Architect

 
April 7th, 2015 by Sumit Singhal

Article source: Robert M. Gurney, FAIA, Architect

Located in Mclean, Virginia, this project is sited on a seven acre, steeply sloping, wooded lot bordering a stream and parkland trail, known as Difficult Run. The scope of work involved a complete renovation of an existing house, a substantial addition to the house, a new detached garage and guest house, and a comprehensive reorganization of the site.

Image Courtesy © Maxwell MacKenzie Architectural Photographer

Image Courtesy © Maxwell MacKenzie Architectural Photographer

  • Architects: Robert M. Gurney, FAIA, Architect
  • Project: DIFFICULT RUN RESIDENCE
  • Location: Mclean, Virginia
  • Photography: Maxwell MacKenzie Architectural Photographer
  • Software used: AutoCAD, SketchUp
  • Project Architect: John Riordan, LEED AP
  • Contractor(s):
  • PHASE 1: Ted Peterson Peterson & Collins
  • PHASE 2: Steve McCaughan Commonwealth Building & Design
  • Landscape Designer: Lila Fendrick Landscape Architecture and Garden Design
  • Engineer: D. Anthony Beale LLC

Image Courtesy © Maxwell MacKenzie Architectural Photographer

Image Courtesy © Maxwell MacKenzie Architectural Photographer

The pre-existing approach to the house involved a narrow, meandering driveway with limited parking space.  Adjacent vegetation was overgrown, and in many places, severely reduced the amount of light entering the house.  As part of the renovation, extensive on-site parking was required to accommodate large family and corporate gatherings.  A limestone wall with a custom designed steel gate creates a threshold to the property.  The new parking area and tree-lined approach to the house is delineated with a series of limestone and stacked slate walls arranged on axis to the house and rendered with differing paving materials.A new garage and guesthouse structure is located to further define the parking area and is organized around a large, mature Deodar Cedar tree.  A stonewall with a water element is introduced opposite the main entry and extends this principal axis.  Stone paths and stairways, corten steel walls, gabion stonewalls, a swimming pool with an infinity edge, a reflecting pool, terraces and decks, and structured plantings continue to organize the site and provide an abundance of outdoor living spaces.

Image Courtesy © Maxwell MacKenzie Architectural Photographer

Image Courtesy © Maxwell MacKenzie Architectural Photographer

The existing main structure, built in 1965, contained a series of interior and exterior spaces below a single, low-pitched roof with a ridgeline spanning diagonally above the orthogonally arranged spaces. An attached hexagonal volume contained the bedrooms. The space was wrapped in a muted palette of materials including dark flagstone flooring, gray stone walls and fireplaces, and dark wood walls and ceilings. This rendered existing interior spaces compartmentalized and dark, despite expanses of glass. In renovating the main house, all interior finishes were stripped, walls were removed, spaces were opened up and windows were enlarged and replaced, in an effort to reflect the light rather than absorb it.  A series of small additions were implemented as required and located within the footprint of the existing roof.  While the roof structure was retained, the ballast roofing was replaced with standing seam, terne coated stainless steel. In addition, the board and batten siding was supplanted with a combination of dry-stacked slate, stucco and limestone.  The new window system is comprised of a custom steel curtain wall and steel windows with thin profiles.  Interior finishes include Cambrian Cream stone and dark stained oak flooring, smoked oak, Wenge, Walnut and lacquered millwork, glass, and honed, polished, and hammered absolute black granite. Detailing is crisp and minimal with no trim, casing or baseboards.

Image Courtesy © Maxwell MacKenzie Architectural Photographer

Image Courtesy © Maxwell MacKenzie Architectural Photographer

The new addition encompasses a large library, five bedrooms and bathrooms, an exercise room, media room, laundry room, and other support spaces.  These new spaces are stacked vertically but descend, rather than ascend, minimizing the apparent size of the new structure as perceived upon entering the property, and to work within the steeply sloping topography.  The rooftop of the addition extends the slightly sloping roofline of the existing house and folds up at the southern corner to capture light and to provide expansive views into the wooded landscape and stream below.  Finishes and detailing continue the palette prescribed in the main house.

Image Courtesy © Maxwell MacKenzie Architectural Photographer

Image Courtesy © Maxwell MacKenzie Architectural Photographer

The new garage accommodates three cars and the guesthouse includes two bedrooms.  The massing and materials employed continue the language introduced at the main house.

This is a large and comprehensive project that entails a total integration of site specific requirements, landscape components, a complete renovation of a substantialstructure, a significant addition and a separate garage and guesthouse.  The goal of this project was to incorporate all of these requirements in a cohesive, site responsive manner that provides integrated interior and exterior spaces sensitive to the land the project occupies.

Image Courtesy © Maxwell MacKenzie Architectural Photographer

Image Courtesy © Maxwell MacKenzie Architectural Photographer

Image Courtesy © Maxwell MacKenzie Architectural Photographer

Image Courtesy © Maxwell MacKenzie Architectural Photographer

Image Courtesy © Maxwell MacKenzie Architectural Photographer

Image Courtesy © Maxwell MacKenzie Architectural Photographer

Image Courtesy © Maxwell MacKenzie Architectural Photographer

Image Courtesy © Maxwell MacKenzie Architectural Photographer

Image Courtesy © Maxwell MacKenzie Architectural Photographer

Image Courtesy © Maxwell MacKenzie Architectural Photographer

Image Courtesy © Maxwell MacKenzie Architectural Photographer

Image Courtesy © Maxwell MacKenzie Architectural Photographer

Image Courtesy © Maxwell MacKenzie Architectural Photographer

Image Courtesy © Maxwell MacKenzie Architectural Photographer

Image Courtesy © Maxwell MacKenzie Architectural Photographer

Image Courtesy © Maxwell MacKenzie Architectural Photographer

Image Courtesy © Maxwell MacKenzie Architectural Photographer

Image Courtesy © Maxwell MacKenzie Architectural Photographer

Image Courtesy © Maxwell MacKenzie Architectural Photographer

Image Courtesy © Maxwell MacKenzie Architectural Photographer

Image Courtesy © Robert M. Gurney, FAIA, Architect

Image Courtesy © Robert M. Gurney, FAIA, Architect

Image Courtesy © Robert M. Gurney, FAIA, Architect

Image Courtesy © Robert M. Gurney, FAIA, Architect

Image Courtesy © Robert M. Gurney, FAIA, Architect

Image Courtesy © Robert M. Gurney, FAIA, Architect

Image Courtesy © Robert M. Gurney, FAIA, Architect

Image Courtesy © Robert M. Gurney, FAIA, Architect

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Categories: Autocad, House, Residential, SketchUp

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