Best of the Year: Modern Engagement

This award-winning project brings residential modern design to otherwise conservative Washington, D.C., throwing in some interesting design elements along the way.

The project's wow factor and functionality impressed the judges. Like a large steel cage clad in plywood and plastic laminate, the mezzanine-level powder room (top) hangs from beams above the kitchen island. Plumbing runs under the bathroom floor to the bridge.

In this 'little skyscraper,' tall and narrow, Division One Architects brightened the spaces with windows and an open stairwell. Floating, wall-mounted Bulthaup b3 cabinets (the first time these cabinets have been used in Washington, D.C.) give the kitchen a lighter feel.

The exterior is clad in Rheinzink panels, which resemble slate as it ages. The judges felt it was brave to put this kind of material over brick.

Front facade before the project began. This home had extensive renovations done in the early 1990s.

Natural light enters the master bathroom several ways -- through laminated glass panels sandwiched over white film, through a skylight above the shower, which is also lit electronically from the outside, and through tall narrow windows.

The master bedroom, with a doorless master bathroom beyond.

Though various neighborhood associations and individual neighbors had difficulty accepting the project, once it was done they embraced it.

Front facade.

The use of glass was one of the things the judges appreciated about this project. "There is very little artificial light," they noted.

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