Unique Spaces: A Studio 27 Renovation on Capitol Hill

by Jennifer Sergent

image
The front remained untouched in the renovation.

This article was published in May 2010 as part of UrbanTurf’s Unique Spaces series, where we take a look at properties that could be considered “one-of-a-kind” in the DC area. If you have a home that you think fits the bill, send an email to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). See all of our past Unique Spaces articles here.

From the street, Juan Felipe Rincon and RC Bates’ Capitol Hill row house looks no different from the neighboring homes: An elegant red-brick, federal-style façade capped with a proper cornice and dentils that reflect the home’s 19th-century roots.

That’s pretty much where the similarities end, though. Open the translucent glass front door, and this row house reveals a modern, 21st-century interior, rebuilt two years ago to the highest green standards.

Bates bought the house in 1998, and when Rincon moved in, they decided to stay put and renovate it, instead of moving elsewhere. Bates said the “pseudo-Victorian” had been “done and redone” over the years, but that the renovations had been nothing special.

“We had to do something drastic,” he told UrbanTurf.

Enter Studio27 Architecture, a K Street architecture firm that has designed homes and offices across the country and is known for its green, contemporary approach.

image
Much of the side wall – and the entire rear – is glass
allowing light to pour into the soaring interior space.

Because the house is semi-detached, with the exposed side wall facing south, there was tremendous potential to take advantage of natural daylight, Rincon said.

image
Rear exterior at night.

Architect Hans Kuhn responded with a total interior gut that opened the inside top to bottom, transforming it into a gallery-type space topped with a “light chimney” that creates a breeze from open windows on the lower levels to a skylight above.

“It creates a natural draft,” Rincon said of the chimney, noting that he and Bates have yet to turn on the air conditioning this year. And there is so much natural light, they don’t have to turn on any lights until well after the sun goes down.

“It was all about daylight and openness,” Hans Kuhn said of the project. In addition to skylights, Kuhn added that you can open the back of the house to the yard providing a natural breeze that helps ventilate the entire home.

Attention was also paid to aesthetics. The architects colored a portion of the rear exterior wall orange to match the orange accent inside.

“It fits well with all the wood tones,” Kuhn said.

image
Kitchen

From a green standpoint, the water heater is solar-powered, the house is insulated with spray foam as opposed to less-efficient fiber, and all the paint is no-VOC. The HVAC system is one of the most efficient on the market and all the materials used were locally sourced and are renewable, such as bamboo flooring and cabinetry, and concrete countertops.

The kitchen island came from Charlottesville, and was brought to the house in three sections. To get the pieces inside, workers had to use a forklift to haul them over the backyard and through the rear wall.

Rincon’s and Bates’ lifestyle change was almost as dramatic as the renovation itself. People now stop over frequently with a bottle of wine just to “ooh and aah”, Rincon said.

The only project remaining is to finish landscaping in the back, so the men can do more outdoor entertaining.

“Once we’ve got that done, we’ll be perfect,” Rincon told UrbanTurf.

Photographs courtesy of Anice Hoachlander

UrbanTurf contributor Jennifer Sergent is the brains behind the DC By Design blog.

See other articles related to: unique spaces, green real estate dc, dclofts, capitol hill

This article originally published at http://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/unique_spaces_a_studio_27_renovation_on_capitol_hill/2103

13 Comments

  1. Melissa said at 3:24 pm on Tuesday May 25, 2010:

    Amazing interior! Also, very cool to hear about a “light chimney.”

  1. Yvette Hammett said at 3:47 pm on Tuesday May 25, 2010:

    What an awesome re-do, and GREEN! That is absolutely my favorite part!

  1. SimonF said at 5:01 pm on Tuesday May 25, 2010:

    This place looks incredible! Does anyone know the address?

  1. DG Cromwell said at 6:57 am on Wednesday May 26, 2010:

    property stalkers!

  1. Dom said at 8:33 am on Wednesday May 26, 2010:

    I’d be curious to know what the total cost of the reno was (including design fees, oversight fees, GC, etc)

  1. ASW said at 9:40 am on Wednesday May 26, 2010:

    Amazing property…please consider putting the property on one of the local housewalks organized for charity…I’d certainly pay to see the interior of this house!

  1. crystal said at 10:48 pm on Wednesday May 26, 2010:

    Is this house on the market?

  1. RC Bates said at 9:23 am on Thursday May 27, 2010:

    Most of what you see is the work of Chris DeHenzel, Hans Kuhn, John Burke and the others at Studio27.  The only directions we gave them were to be as green as possible, to change the facade as little as possible, and to move the interior stairway to open up the house.  Obviously we made the right decision in selecting Studio27.

    SimonF: The address is 610 4th St NE.

    Dom: I’ll respond to your question soon.

    ASW: Tell me how, and we’d be happy to show it off.

    crystal: No, we planned the renovation with the expectation that we would live there, and we have no plans to sell.

  1. MIS said at 10:52 am on Thursday May 27, 2010:

    Amazing!  Excellent taste, gentlemen. Totally inspires me to redo my own Cap Hill house.  I would love to visit this house on one of the neighborhood tours.

  1. Crystal said at 6:34 pm on Friday May 28, 2010:

    Do you mind giving me the name of your kitchen designer?  And/or the cabinet brand you used.

  1. Jason said at 2:16 pm on Wednesday July 21, 2010:

    @rcbates, could you give a rough estimate on the total costs?

  1. T said at 12:26 pm on Tuesday August 17, 2010:

    A-Maze-ing!!  Had the picture up all day and can’t stop looking at it

  1. Kurenai said at 10:28 am on Wednesday February 6, 2013:

    very nice.  can you share who the builder was?

Join the discussion

UrbanTurf now requires registration in order to post comments. Register here, or login below if you are already registered.

Click here if you forgot your password.




 

Hans Wydler

Wydler Brothers Team

301-986-6405

Serving:

Chevy Chase

AU Park

Woodley Park

NEW!

DC Real Estate Guides

Short guides to navigating the DC-area real estate market

We’ve collected all our helpful guides for buying, selling and renting in and around Washington, DC in one place. Visit guides.urbanturf.com or start browsing below!

Northern Virginia

Profiles of 14 neighborhoods across Northern Virginia

Ballston
Looking to Give People A Reason to Stay Past 6pm
Clarendon
Happily Straddling the Line Between City and Suburb
Columbia Pike
Arlington’s Neglected Stepchild is Getting a Makeover
Crystal City
Turning Lemons into Lemonade
Lyon Village
Developing An Air of Exclusivity?
Rosslyn
Hitting Its Growth Spurt
Shirlington
An Urban Village Hitting Its Stride
Del Ray
Virginia’s Small Town Near the Big City
Eisenhower Avenue
The Vibrancy Might Take a Few Years
Huntington
The Quiet Neighborhood By the Beltway
Old Town
Mayberry By The Potomac
Parkfairfax
132 Commerical-Free Acres
Downtown Falls Church
Staying the Same in the Midst of Change
Tysons Corner
Radical Change Could Be On The Way

See more Northern Virginia »

Maryland

Profiles of 14 neighborhoods in suburban Maryland

Annapolis
Small-Town Living in the State Capital
Bethesda
Bedroom Community Gets Buzzing Cache
Cabin John
In With The New While Maintaining the Old
Chevy Chase
Affluence, Green Lawns and Pricey Homes
Downtown Silver Spring
Experiencing a Resurgence After a Bumpy History
Potomac
A Suburb on Steroids
Rockville Town Square
Despite the Dynamism, Still Somewhat Generic
Takoma Park
More Than a Little Bit Quirky
Wheaton
A Foodie Magnet on the Verge of Change
Capitol Heights
Kudzu, Front Porches and Crime
Hyattsville
Glass Half Full or Half Empty?
Mount Rainier
Artists, Affordable Homes and A Silo Full of Corn
National Harbor
A Development Rises Next to the Potomac
Riverdale Park
A Town Looking For Its Identity

See more Maryland »

Northwest DC

30+ neighborhood profiles for the city's biggest quadrant

16th Street Heights
DC's Sleeper Neighborhood
Bloomingdale
Where (Almost) Everyone Knows Your Name
AU Park
One of DC’s Last Frontiers Before the Suburbs
Brightwood
DC’s Northern Neighborhood on the Cusp
Burleith
DC’s 535 House Neighborhood
Cathedral Heights
Do You Know Where That Is?
Chevy Chase DC
Not to Be Confused With the Other Chevy Chase
Cleveland Park
Coming Back After A Rough Year
Columbia Heights
DC’s Most Diverse Neighborhood, But For How Long?
Crestwood
An Island of Serenity East of the Park
Dupont Circle
The Best of DC (For a Price)
Foggy Bottom & West End
Where the Institutional Meets the International
Forest Hills
Ambassadors and Adventurous Architecture
Fort Totten
Five Years Could Make a Big Difference
Foxhall Village
350 Homes Just West of Georgetown
Friendship Heights
A Shopping Mecca With a Few Places to Live
Georgetown
History, Hoyas and H&M
Glover Park
One of DC’s Preppier and More Family-Friendly Neighborhoods
Kalorama
A Posh View From Embassy Row
LeDroit Park
A Quiet Enclave in the Middle of the City
Logan Circle
Trendy Now, But Not By Accident
Mount Pleasant
Sought-After Homes Surround Main Street in Transition
Mount Vernon Triangle
From Seedy to Sought-After
Palisades
The Long, Skinny Neighborhood at the City’s Northwest Edge
Park View
It’s Not Petworth
Penn Quarter/Chinatown
DC’s Go-Go-Go Neighborhood
Petworth
Getting a Vibrancy of Its Own
Shaw
The Duke’s Former Stomping Ground
Shepherd Park
DC’s Garden of Diversity
Spring Valley
A Suburb With a DC Zip Code
Takoma
Not To Be Confused With Takoma Park
Tenleytown
Not Quite Like Its Neighbors
U Street Corridor
The Difference a Decade Makes
Woodley Park
Deceptively Residential
Adams Morgan
No Longer DC’s Hippest Neighborhood, But Still Loved by Residents

See more Northwest DC »

Southwest DC

The little quadrant that could

Southwest Waterfront
A Neighborhood Where A Change Is Gonna Come

See more Southwest DC »

Northeast DC

Profiles of 10 neighborhoods in NE

Brookland
New Development Could Shake Up Pastoral Peace
Deanwood
A Little Bit of Country Just Inside the District’s Borders
Eckington
Not to Be Confused With Bloomingdale
H Street
A Place To Party, and To Settle Down
Langdon
The Northeast Neighborhood That Few Know About
Michigan Park
A Newsletter-On-Your-Doorstep Community
NoMa
Evolving from a Brand to a Neighborhood
Rosedale
Ripe for Investment Right About Now
Trinidad
The Difference 5 Years Makes
Woodridge
Big Houses, A Dusty Commercial Strip and Potential

See more Northeast DC »

Southeast DC

6 'hoods from Capitol Hill to East of the River

Capitol Riverfront
Still Growing
Hill East
Capitol Hill’s Lesser Known Neighbor
Congress Heights
Gradually Rising
Hillcrest
Notable for Its Neighborliness
Historic Anacostia
Future Promise Breeds Cautious Optimism
Eastern Market
A More European Way of Living

See more Southeast DC »

Upcoming Seminars ▾