The clients—a NASA engineer and a cellist with a small child—knew what they wanted in the gut renovation of the 900-square-foot cabin where they live full-time. They asked for a sparse house with nearly anonymous spaces and no furniture other than a small, movable table where they eat while seated on the floor.
Mark McInturff, FAIA, added a cylindrical entry tower with closets and an oculus-lit spiral staircase that replaces a ladder to the existing loft. “The idea was to carry the spiral stair up as a silo—we’re out in the country here,” Mark says.
The two bedrooms have pocket doors that are left open during the day and closed at night, conferring the convertibility of a Japanese house. “What made it interesting was that there was no furniture,” Mark says. “We structured it around the idea that the house has a day life and a life at night. During the day the bedrooms are opened to the main space and the sleeping mats are rolled up and put away.” Doug fir cabinets and built-ins keep everything else out of sight. With the first floor open to the loft, a wood stove is enough to heat the house, though they did install heating and air conditioning.
Outside, the end walls are white, and black asphalt roofing shingles wrap right down over the original part of the cabin, “as if a blanket were thrown over it,” Mark says.
ARCHITECT: Mark McInturff, FAIA, McInturff Architects, Bethesda, Maryland
BUILDER: Timber Ridge Builders, Mountain Lake Park, Maryland
PROJECT SIZE: 1,000 square feet
SITE SIZE: 2.26 acres
CONSTRUCTION COST: Withheld
PHOTOGRAPHY: Julia Heine, McInturff Architects
CABINETRY: Christiana Cabinetry
CLADDING: CertainTeed asphalt shingles, Sto stucco
ENTRY DOORS: Weather Shield
LIGHTING: Progress, Lightolier
PAINTS: Benjamin Moore
ROOFING: CertainTeed asphalt shingles
WINDOWS/WINDOW WALL SYSTEMS: Weather Shield
Plans and Drawings