How do you fit a young, modern family into a grand home designed by a renowned architect of the last century? We helped our clients answer that question when they purchased a home commissioned from John Russell Pope in 1932, shortly before Pope’s death.
The original owners sought a home for their small family that reflected a restraint and austerity consistent with the Depression era in which it was built; they requested a classic design but scaled back on unnecessary indulgences. By the time our clients purchased the home from their son nearly 80 years later, it was ready for an update.
The new owners adored the exterior architecture and its forested two acres, which include dramatic azalea walks designed by Rose Greely, a celebrated early 20th-century landscape architect. Yet the interiors needed a different layout for the parents of three young girls. We embarked on a renovation that would adapt Pope’s designs for this busy family.
The project included a side addition, complementary to the original house but smaller in scale to keep the focus on Pope’s design. The addition contains a large family room on the first floor and a bedroom suite for the girls upstairs. A “hyphen” that connects the addition to the main house contains a new back stair, a breakfast room on the first floor, and a playroom above.
In the main house, we restored the living room, dining room and paneled library, and redesigned the modest original staircase to give the entry the drama it deserved. We also took out a service stair in the rear to enlarge the revamped kitchen’s opening into the new family room. Upstairs, we eliminated one of the three bedrooms to enlarge the master suite. We then transformed the attic space, formerly a series of small rooms, into a guest suite for the family’s frequent visitors.
The gardens are in bloom once again, since we restored the plantings and enlarged the terraces. We also replaced a 1980’s-era pool and pool house with ones that more directly channels Pope’s style. The result is a glorious resurrection of a Pope design that fits the lifestyle of this busy, 21st-century family.
AIA Northern Virginia Award of Excellence for Residential Architecture, 2017
John Russell Pope Award for Renovation/Addition Greater than 5,000 sq. ft., 2017
Steve Vanze, Melanie Giordano
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