Rowhouse Redux

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Division1 Architects renovates a Washington, D.C., rowhouse in a modern, sculptural style.

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Project Info

Architect: Ali Honarkar, Division1 Architects, Washington, D.C.
Contractor: Don Malnati, Renovations Unlimited, Washington


  • Use sustainable design principles to transform an early 20th-century rowhouse
  • Unify a series of fragmented rooms to create an open, flexible space with abundant light


In the long, narrow interior, Division1 Architects knocked down walls to create a continuous living space from front to back; broke through floors — the kitchen and living room are in double-height space; and replaced stairwell walls with glass half-walls. Skylights admit natural light. Architect Ali Honarkar used sustainable technology such as German techniques for passive cooling and ventilation, an internal gray-water recycling system, and a rooftop irrigation system. A combination of a geo-exchange HVAC system and radiant floor heating maintains comfortable temperatures with little energy use. Photovoltaics capture solar energy to power many of the appliances.

Judges’ Comments

“The interior is incredibly modern and sculptural and has a calming austerity. The design implements several sustainably minded alternative energy strategies that seem to motivate its overarching plan.”

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