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Sanjay Gangal
Sanjay Gangal
Sanjay Gangal is the President of IBSystems, the parent company of AECCafe.com, MCADCafe, EDACafe.Com, GISCafe.Com, and ShareCG.Com.

Komai in Alexandria, Virginia by Robert M. Gurney, FAIA, Architect

 
September 18th, 2015 by Sanjay Gangal

Article source: Robert M. Gurney, FAIA, Architect

A small, triangular corner lot in the Del Ray neighborhood of Alexandria, Virginia, was largely considered too small to accommodate a new house. For years, this lot mostly served the neighborhood as a dog walking park.

Image Courtesy © Maxwell MacKenzie Architectural Photographer

Image Courtesy © Maxwell MacKenzie Architectural Photographer

  • Architects: Robert M. Gurney, FAIA, Architect
  • Project: Komai
  • Location: Alexandria, Virginia, US State
  • Photography: Maxwell MacKenzie Architectural Photographer
  • Software used: AutoCAD
  • Project Architect: Brian Tuskey
  • Contractor: Steve McCaughan
  • Engineer: Anthony Beale LLC

Image Courtesy © Maxwell MacKenzie Architectural Photographer

Image Courtesy © Maxwell MacKenzie Architectural Photographer

Zoning setbacks, and a height limit consistent with the adjacent primarily one story bungalows, craftsman style houses and small colonials, reduced the buildable footprint and building envelope significantly. In addition, two off-street parking spaces were required. Developers struggled to provide a house that was both similar in style to neighboring houses and would fit onto the lot.

Image Courtesy © Maxwell MacKenzie Architectural Photographer

Image Courtesy © Maxwell MacKenzie Architectural Photographer

Image Courtesy © Maxwell MacKenzie Architectural Photographer

Image Courtesy © Maxwell MacKenzie Architectural Photographer

Two creative graphic designers who lived in the neighborhood viewed the lot with its inherent challenges as an opportunity to build a small, modern house that would allow them to downsize and remain in the neighborhood they loved. They purchased the lot, knowing their house would be site-responsive but unlike the neighboring houses.

Image Courtesy © Maxwell MacKenzie Architectural Photographer

Image Courtesy © Maxwell MacKenzie Architectural Photographer

Image Courtesy © Maxwell MacKenzie Architectural Photographer

Image Courtesy © Maxwell MacKenzie Architectural Photographer

The program for the new house was relatively modest: an open living, dining and kitchen space, a first floor master bedroom suite, a workspace and a guest bedroom suite.  In the design, the zoning setbacks largely informed the volume and massing.

Image Courtesy © Maxwell MacKenzie Architectural Photographer

Image Courtesy © Maxwell MacKenzie Architectural Photographer

Image Courtesy © Maxwell MacKenzie Architectural Photographer

Image Courtesy © Maxwell MacKenzie Architectural Photographer

The house is constructed to the zoning setbacks on facing streets which aligns with adjacent houses along the lengths of both blocks.  While the house is two stories tall and built to the maximum height limit, it is consistent with the average height of the thirteen houses within the triangular block.

Image Courtesy © Maxwell MacKenzie Architectural Photographer

Image Courtesy © Maxwell MacKenzie Architectural Photographer

Image Courtesy © Maxwell MacKenzie Architectural Photographer

Image Courtesy © Maxwell MacKenzie Architectural Photographer

The house is organized around a double height space containing the dining and living space. A bridge connects the second floor office with the guest bedroom suite and helps define the dining area.

Image Courtesy © Maxwell MacKenzie Architectural Photographer

Image Courtesy © Maxwell MacKenzie Architectural Photographer

Image Courtesy © Maxwell MacKenzie Architectural Photographer

Image Courtesy © Maxwell MacKenzie Architectural Photographer

Three large skylights further animate the space, and in combination with large expanses of glass and Kalwall panels, the space is flooded with light. Finishes are kept minimal and the detailing is crisp. Spatial composition and natural light become the primary design tools.

Image Courtesy © Maxwell MacKenzie Architectural Photographer

Image Courtesy © Maxwell MacKenzie Architectural Photographer

Image Courtesy © Maxwell MacKenzie Architectural Photographer

Image Courtesy © Maxwell MacKenzie Architectural Photographer

Despite employing an architectural language dissimilar to its neighboring predecessors, the scale and height of this new house is consistent with them, and allows the house to integrate comfortably within this eclectic neighborhood.

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

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Categories: Autocad, House, Residential

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