Category: Additions, $100,000 to $250,000

Location: Sparks, Md.

Contractor: Henry Ruhlman, H.E. Ruhlman Construction, Hampstead, Md.

Designers: Andre Fontaine, Jeremy Arnold, and Ann Dutton, Andre G. Fontaine Architect, Glen Elg, Md.

Anne Gummerson

To list “add a level of polish” as one of your goals in remodeling an AIA-award-winning house demands a bit of hubris; architect Andre Fontaine complemented his with greater measures of skill and restraint. His design ties the addition so seamlessly into the existing house that one judge on a first look doubted the remodel was more than cosmetic.

In fact, Fontaine's design quietly tacked on 1,100 square feet, expanding the master suite and adding a gallery and deck with a spa bath.

Masterfully built by Henry Ruhlman's H.E. Ruhlman Construction, the addition favors sleek lines and materials to add the polish Fontaine wanted.

The program also included accentuating the original design's relationship with the surroundings. To this end, Fontaine chose not to remove the rustic cedar motif his predecessor applied. “The use of natural materials carried through nicely,” a judge observed.

Angular but interconnected spaces in the master suite also make use of the setting, welcoming the exterior through cleverly placed window stacks. The horizontal run of glass pulls light into the gallery and opens up wide views outside. The extended horizontal lines of the gallery also serve another program goal: to clearly delineate between public and private spaces.