Merit Award, Whole-House Remodeling: A Great Transition

This award-winning 1928 bungalow remodel keeps its cozy feel while providing space for entertaining.

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Location: Bethesda, Md.
Contractor: Jeff Fiehler, RHK Construction, Rockville, Md.
Designer: Amy E. Gardner, AIA, LEED-AP, Gardner Mohr Architects, Chevy Chase, Md.
Kitchen designer: Jennifer Gilmer, Jennifer Gilmer Kitchen & Bath, Chevy Chase
Landscape designer: Tom Jasick, Quarry Aquatics, Centreville, Va.

The owners’ goal for this 1928 bungalow was to maintain its intimate, cozy feel while providing space for entertaining.

The house was in rough shape. Razing it was not an option because of zoning restrictions. Architect Amy E. Gardner kept the existing first-floor 1,400-square-foot footprint and rebuilt the second floor, popping the roof, which added extra habitable space. She then designed a two-story addition — a guest suite with a private entrance — for the back.

“[The clients and I] talked about the Asian roots of the bungalow style,” Gardner says. “As you move from the front to the back garden it becomes a reflection of Asian alliances. You don’t notice as it happens, yet you get to the back of the house and realize it’s different from the front. It’s an experience of blending rather than contrast.” Rafter outriggers, which were structurally necessary, were installed on the front porch. They provide an Asian feel and hint at what’s to come on the garden side.

The judges noted the “good transition between indoors and outdoors” and the “nice details appropriate for the style of the house.” The gestures the architect made are “the right scale and are simply detailed,” they said.

Although the owners didn’t have specific sustainability goals, the home has many green features: reclaimed oak floors, recycled roof materials, and an efficient HVAC strategy. The home’s orientation and reshaped eaves’ overhang address solar gain.

--Stacey Freed, senior editor, REMODELING.