The glass patio at 212 Alfred Street in Old Town
A little over a month ago, UrbanTurf wrote about an 1870s Alexandria townhouse that, from the front, looked like any other federal-style rowhouse you would find in Old Town or Georgetown. However, the most striking feature of the house can’t be seen from the street.
While building a 1,200 square-foot addition on the existing 1,200 square-foot property, owner/developer Ania Osinski installed a rather unique feature: a patio made entirely of glass that serves as the ceiling for the basement rec room.
“The idea for the patio came from England where my whole family has done renovation projects,” Osinski told UrbanTurf. “You can’t build up anywhere there, so this type of stuff is done frequently.”
With the help of Alexandria-based architect Stephanie Dimond, Osinski designed the plans for the patio. Since the house is in Alexandria’s historic district, every aspect of the addition, including the patio, needed to be submitted for approval. Once approved, the work began.
The patio called for several 5-by-5-foot pieces of glass weighing 500 pounds each, and Osinski sought out Georgia-based Architectural Glass to provide the materials.
“The glass was laminated and tempered and then laid on a steel grid with a quarter inch in between,” Osinski explained. “Each piece can handle well over 1,000 pounds of weight, not including the support of the steel.”
When it came to costs, the dig and construction of the basement came it at around $80,000 and the glass and installation cost another $40,000. Including digging out the basement, it took about a year from start to finish.
As far as being concerned about stepping on or sitting under a patio made completely of glass, Osinski said that feeling goes away quickly.
“The only time that it was weird was when it was first installed. Now, it’s quite fun to look down into.”
These days, the patio is filled with furniture and a fire pit, not to mention the groups of people that come through each week for open houses. (The home is currently on the market for $1.495 million.)
While standing on the unique feature is interesting, lying under it may be even better.
“I regularly go down into the basement and lay down when it is raining or snowing,” Osinski said. “It’s kind of like being in a spa.”
Full listing here: 212 South Alfred Street
Photos courtesy of Susie Soleimani Photography.
This article originally published at http://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/the_glass_patio_with_a_view_underground/8007
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