2021 RDAA | Custom Period or Vernacular House | Hull House | David Jameson Architect

With its sharply gabled rooflines, Hull House plays nicely with the neighbors even as it asserts its individuality. Situated behind a stone wall on a busy street corner, the house presents as three gables no higher or lower than the neighboring roofs. “We used time-honored materials found in Alexandria, such as stone for the walls and copper for the roofs,” says David Jameson. “When you drive up and down the street, it’s a different expression but the same voice as houses from 150 years ago.”

However, those required gable forms shapeshift in unexpected ways as one moves through the house. Diagrammatically, David describes the design as a folded origami tent draped over three interior volumes—mezzanine-topped garage, bedrooms, and a service wall—and circled by glass. The funky exoskeleton is a combination of steel roof beams infilled with wood framing. Tree columns under the ceiling—31/2-inch steel piping that reaches up from bearing points—support the various roof angles. The splayed supports create a more dynamic composition than a point-to-point load and allowed for shorter spans and half as many structural elements, he says.

“As the building recedes from the street, the tent roof becomes more organic and sculptural and creates this habitable art space inside,” David says. “It’s this sort of play of initial expectations, where the actual experiential qualities within are very different than what you might expect.” While the front façade bows politely to the neighborhood legacy, the interior’s flowing plan and exquisite finishes reflect the way the owners want to live. [See previous Case Study coverage of this project here.]


Custom Period or Vernacular House

David Jameson Architect
Hull House
Alexandria, Virginia

Project Credits

Architect: David Jameson, FAIA, principal in charge; Ron Southwick, architect; Oscar Maradiaga, David Jameson Architect, Alexandria, Virginia

Builder: PureForm Builders, Alexandria

Interior Designer: David Jameson, FAIA

Landscape Architect: Gregg Bleam, ASLA, Gregg Bleam Landscape Architect, Charlottesville, Virginia

Project Size: 3,600 square feet

Site Size: .51 acre

Construction Cost: Withheld

Photographer: Paul Warchol

Key Products

Cooktop/Ovens: Bosch

Countertops: Silestone

Dishwasher: Fisher & Paykel

Door Hardware: Omnia

Faucets: Hansgrohe

Garage Doors: Crisway

Insulation: Icynene-Lapolla

Lighting: Dasal

Locksets: FSB 

Paints/Stains/Coatings: Benjamin Moore

Refrigerator/Freezer: Thermador

Sinks: Mirabelle, Duravit

Toilets: Duravit

Tub: Americh Ice

Thermal/Moisture Barriers: Henry

Underlayment/sheathing: AdvanTech

Windows: Western Windows Systems


Plans and Drawings

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