Launch Slideshow

Kit of Parts

Kit of Parts

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    Julia Heine/McInturff Architects

    Existing windows were modified and slotted glass was added at floor level behind the living room shelving to enhance the sense of weightlessness.

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    Julia Heine/McInturff Architects

    The glass shelves are repeated throughout the house.

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    Julia Heine/McInturff Architects

    A wooden bench is suspended near the stairs.

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    Julia Heine/McInturff Architects

    The kit of parts, which includes clear, sandblasted, and louvered glass, transforms the entire house.

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    Julia Heine/McInturff Architects

    A flat-screen TV and vent-free gas fireplace are suspended from two aluminum boxes that hang from steel tubes. The 1/2-inch-thick aluminum-wrapped honeycomb panel face lifts off for access.

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    Julia Heine/McInturff Architects

    Slender glass shelves echo the form of the window louvers.

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    Julia Heine/McInturff Architects

    Exterior louvers screen views of close neighbors.

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    Julia Heine/McInturff Architects

    Detail of a small glass-enclosed office niche. The desk and drawers slide between steel supports.

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    Julia Heine/McInturff Architects

    Aluminum drawers sit under the glass shelves and within steel supports.

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    Courtesy McInturff Architects

    An axonometric rendering of the house and insertions.

A migrating “kit of parts” solved the problem of how to transform a perfectly serviceable but plain-vanilla house without a major renovation. This 1920s bungalow had decent bones but lacked the custom domestic amenities that make a house sparkle. Mark McInturff and project designer Colleen Gove Healey transformed the house with a series of assembled materials that hold items such as a desk, credenza, and books and CDs. The delicate storage and display systems appear throughout and are made from steel angles, aluminum sheets, glass, and hardwood. The pièce de résistance is in the living room, where a flat-screen TV and a vent-free gas fireplace are suspended in two aluminum-clad boxes that hang from steel tubes. Behind it, strategically placed windows let in light along the floor and in unexpected places among the shelves.

McInturff was inspired by Paul Klee's aesthetic dictum about taking a line for a walk. “We thought of it as taking a detail for a walk all the way through the house,” he says. That concept resonated with the jury. “The modular idea is strong; it's not just about a single thing, but a way of thinking about the whole house,” one judge said approvingly.

Product Credits
Entrant/Architect:
McInturff Architects, Bethesda, Md.
Builder:Added Dimensions, Takoma Park, Md.
Living space: 2,400 square feet
Construction cost: Withheld
Photographer: Julia Heine/McInturff Architects