Monday, March 10, 2008

Modernism In Your Neighborhood

I am discovering that the more I explore the diverse and numerous neighborhoods around DC, the more modern interventions I find. The Brookland neighborhood is no exception. What was once a sleepy and worn down area, is now a location where authentic arts and crafts bungalows and Victorian houses on large grassy lots are being snapped up. Some of these original houses are great examples of that style. Many of these which are salvageable and not too far gone are being beautifully restored. They make great houses for urban families looking for more space, inside and out. Along side of these historic gems, can also be found some very cool modern houses. One example stands out on the corner of 10th and Jackson Streets. It shares the block with typical bungalows having large porches, steeply sloping roofs, and abundant wood exterior detailing. This new house is obviously modern compared to it's neighbors, but it is evident that the design pays homage to the history of the location. The rooflines and massing are broken up into different sections. Each piece is uniquely articulated. Wood detailing, color, and material create these separations. Not only does this create a vibrancy to the architecture, but it allows it's large scale to be perceived as smaller. The post and beam construction and detailing is inspired by the original arts and crafts construction methods. These elements are classic yet prove how tried and true construction methods can be recreated in a modern way. The soaring rooflines, angled masses, and large windows are what make this house stand out. The cohesion, simplicity and uniqueness of these pieces is what creates a well designed and crafted modern home.

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