Bethesda, Maryland

While Washingtonians haven’t exactly led the pack in their desire for modern residences, Robert Gurney, a D.C.-based architect, says that has dramatically changed since he began his practice in 1990. “Now there’s no shortage of people who want to do modern projects,” he says, including his client who commissioned two neighboring houses in Glen Echo, Maryland, just outside the city. (Incidentally, Glen Echo is home to an enclave of about 20 mid-century houses by Keyes, Lethbridge, and Condon.)

The client, a developer, lives in one of the two, an 8,255-square-foot concrete-and-wood structure clad in mahogany, cement-board panels, and corrugated metal. The architect divided formal and informal spaces between two main rectilinear volumes, which connect via a glass bridge to form a T-shaped plan. Formal living and dining rooms are housed in the southern volume, while a kitchen, more relaxed living space, and garage define the northern one. Gurney further articulated the cubic forms by cantilevering some of the bedrooms.

Mondrian-inspired steel-framed windows lead to the woods and an infinity pool. With views of the Potomac as well, “this is so much about the outdoors,” says Gurney.


Formal name of building:

Glen Echo Heights; Bethesda, Maryland

Completion Date (Month and Year):
November 2011

Gross square footage:
8,255 sq.ft.

Total construction cost:

Lewie Bloom

Architect's firm name, address, phone, and fax number:
Robert M. Gurney, FAIA, Architect
5110 ½ MacArthur Blvd, NW
Washington, DC 20016
(202) 237-0925 (ph) (202) 237-0927 (fax)

Architect of record:
Robert M. Gurney, FAIA, Architect

Project architect:
Brian Tuskey (Associate Architect at The Office of Robert Gurney)

Structural Engineer:
D. Anthony Beale LLC
8634 Tuttle Road
Springfield, VA 22152
(202) 669-2272 (ph)
(703) 923-0075 (fax)

General contractor:
Bloom Builders
5110 ½ MacArthur Blvd, NW
Washington, DC 20016
(301) 442-2223 (ph)
(301) 229-2281 (fax)

Maxwell MacKenzie Architectural Photographer
2641 Garfield Street, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20008
(202) 232-6686 (ph)
(202) 232-6684 (fax)

CAD system, project management, or other software used:
CAD 2004 Lite, Microsoft Excel



Structural system:
Concrete foundation, precast concrete planks (first floor), wood frame above first floor w/ steel framing @ window walls

Manufacturer of any structural components unique to this project:
Nitterhouse precast, prestressed, hollowcore concrete planks

Exterior cladding:
Metal Panels: UNA-Clad ' UC 601 ' Prefinished Corrugated Metal Panels

Rainscreen (terra cotta, composite, etc.): Sil-Leed™ Fiber Cement Cladding Panels, by Cement Board Fabricators

Wood: 1x6 Mahogany Rainscreen

Moisture barrier: VaproShield WallShield ; Tyvek HomeWrap

Other: EPDM

Wood frame: Weathershield Aluminum-Clad Windows

Metal frame: Hope's Steel Windows

Insulated-panel or plastic glazing: Kalwall

Metal doors: Hope's Steel Doors (exterior)

Locksets: Omnia

Interior finishes:
Cabinetwork and custom woodwork: custom millwork by Woods & Style ' finishes include Quarter Sawn White Oak, Wenge, Vertical Grain Caramelized Bamboo, Black Melamine

Paints and stains: Sherwin Williams

Solid surfacing: Caesarstone; Corian

Special surfacing: custom Orbital-Finish ½” Aluminum Plate

Floor and wall tile (cite where used): Pompeii wall tile (Dining Room); Baltimore; Limestone floor & wall tile (Master Bathroom); Janegrey Sandstone floor & wall tile (Bathroom); Arctic White Ceramic wall tile (Bathroom)

Resilient flooring: 5” Quarter-Sawn White Oak; 1x6 Mahogany for exterior decking

Special interior finishes unique to this project: Terrazzo flooring (First Floor)

Interior ambient lighting: Systemalux, Artemide, Anta, Bega

Downlights: Lightolier

Exterior: Stonco

Dimming System or other lighting controls: Lutron

Vola Faucets, Dornbracht Rainshower, Toto Toilets, Franke Sink + Disposal (Kitchen), Kohler Sink + bathtub in Guest Bathroom; Waterworks Soaking Tub in Master Bath.