The front porch is an enduring icon of the American Craftsman style, but the porch on this 1920s bungalow was buried by a dark mass of shingles encasing a sculpture gallery when its owners bought it in 1994. Three children later, the home they affectionately called “the bunker” was in serious need of modernization and expansion. Yet as much as they liked the idea of reclaiming the porch, they didn't think it was possible given their living requirements and their small city lot.
Architect Charlie Moore thought otherwise. Critically important to him was reestablishing the integrity of the original house and its contribution to the fabric of the early 20th-century neighborhood. Noting the swooping roof and stucco walls, he intended, he said, “to restore the face of the house by celebrating the front porch, while also expanding it in such a way that the addition would be seamless.”
Moore and remodeler Kaz Malachowski succeeded on all counts, the judges said. They described the transformation as “elegant as hell,” and said it epitomizes “taking a strong historical house that was a little jumbled and abused, picking up all the strong points in the existing architecture, and making it better.”
The entire front of the house was stripped to its stucco core. The original timber beams that had poked through the shingled-over porch became a key design element, complemented by new wood tapered columns on stucco piers, a beaded wood ceiling, and a stone floor and stairs. Even the porch's office addition blends right in, thanks to the continued line of the wood railing and the Craftsman-style windows that break down the massing.
In all, the now-3,811-square-foot home gained about 1,300 square feet of living space, excluding the new recreation room underground. The judges noted the “highest-quality craftsmanship,” “excellent use of materials,” and “cohesive millwork,” from the coffered ceilings and built-in cabinetry and window seats inside, to the wood lap siding, cedar shingle, and wood trim on the rear addition. “Incredibly strong. Just sweet,” they said.
Category: Whole-house remodeling, over $500,000
Location: Washington, D.C.
Contractor: Kaz Malachowski, Falcon Construction, Rockville, Md.
Designers: Charlie Moore and Sarah Farrell, Moore Architects, Alexandria, Va.