Merit Award: Curve Ahead

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Making the most of limited space, this apartment remodel provides a simple, yet striking, living space.

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Location: Washington, D.C.

Contractor: Residential Resource, Bethesda, Md. (no longer in business)

Designer: Janet Bloomberg and Ryan Novi, Kube Architecture, Washington, D.C.

This 1,000-square-foot Washington, D.C., apartment lacked flow and had little natural light. Kube Architecture stepped in to create an open living area with a sweeping wood wall that is both functional and sculptural. The judges described the wall’s sinuous curve as “a strong move” and commented on how the floor plan makes the most of a small space.

The curved wall, which varies from a full height to just above countertop level, unifies the kitchen (foreground) and dining space (rear, right) and also provides a built-in seating area that does double duty as an office space. From the built-in seating, the wall curves to the kitchen where it becomes part of narrow shelving for kitchen storage. The kitchen faces the outdoor courtyard with its exterior stone wall, which, as one judge commented, “draws the eye outside and makes the room feel twice as big.” Sliding doors offer easy access. The courtyard floor is covered with ipe decking, and a stainless steel ladder provides access to a modest roof deck.

The bathroom — located behind the kitchen — has two entries: from the bedroom and from the living room. A frosted glass door between the bathroom and living room admits light to the bath while maintaining privacy. Another door leads from the bath to a dressing room off the bedroom.