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Bethesda, Md., Residence

Bethesda, Md., Residence

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    A wall of living and dining room windows opens up the home's rear elevation to the pool and backyard.

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    On the front elevation, the manganese brick cladding the house's base is separated from the upper mahogany siding by a horizontal steel channel.

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    Continuous walls of cabinetry are broken only by a handsome black backsplash and a couple of carefully placed windows. Clerestories overhead let in light without compromising privacy.

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    Angled, lead-coated copper bay windows, like the one above the front door, help control and maximize views from the second floor.

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    A second-floor bay window directs one's gaze out toward the forest-lined rear of the property.

Architect Greg Weidemann based the floor plan of this modern, brick-and-mahogany-clad residence on the specific conditions of the site. The cross-sloped property, located just outside Washington, D.C., backs up to a tree-filled park, but it also adjoins a close-by neighboring house. Weidemann faced the considerable challenge of opening the project up to the park while simultaneously preserving privacy.

He did so with a T-shaped plan containing a rectilinear form for the home's private rooms and a window-lined rear pavilion for the main living space. A glazed entry hall connects these two elements. The setup allows views to the park from the three most important spaces in the house—the living room, master bedroom, and full-time home office—while shielding them from the street and neighbors.

Carefully chosen materials help unite the home with its setting. “The dark manganese brick creates a podium and grounds the house on the site,” Weidemann says. “The mahogany blends in with the woods behind the house.” The bluestone paving for the exterior terraces extends to the interior circulation spaces, further blurring the line between indoors and outdoors. And the oak floorboards are stained to blend in with the stone. “This house makes sense to me inside and outside,” said a judge approvingly. “The vocabulary continues consistently all the way through the building.”

Project Credits
Entrant/Architect:
Weidemann Architects, Bethesda, Md.
Builder: GN Contracting, Arlington, Va.
Structural engineer: Structron Engineering, Rockville, Md.
Living space: 2,100 square feet
Site: .25 acre
Construction cost: Withheld
Photographer: Anice Hoachlander/HDPhoto

Product Resources
Bathroom plumbing fittings/fixtures: Adagio, Grohe, and Toto; Bathroom cabinets/interior doors/kitchen cabinets: Regency Custom Cabinetry; Brick/masonry products: Endicott Clay Products; Dishwasher: Bosch; Entry doors/patio doors: Simpson Doors; Fireplace: Lennox; Garage doors: Overhead Door; Garbage disposer: In-Sink-Erator; Hardware: Baldwin, Omnia; HVAC equipment: Carrier; Insulation: Johns Manville, Owens Corning; Kitchen plumbing fittings/fixtures: Franke, Grohe; Lighting fixtures: American Lighting, Lightolier, Y-Lighting; Oven: Fisher & Paykel; Paints: Benjamin Moore, Sikkens; Refrigerator: Jenn-Air; Roofing: Firestone; Skylights: Velux; Windows: Weathershield.