Mark McInturff, FAIA, renovated this condo-with-a-view three times and for three different owners over a 20-year period. The third time produced the charm—a shimmering stair that elevates all the previous interventions. The original 1940s stair was small and winding, almost unsafe, Mark says. What’s more, the kitchen and dining room are on the lowest floor and the bedrooms are on the third, so the owners were constantly going up and down the stairs.
Fabricated by local artisans, the stair stringers are buried in the white oak treads. “It was a little like building a ship in a bottle; the wood and steel workers had to assemble it together,” the architect recalls. On the main living level, a half-wall of curved glass introduces the first landing, which floats a few steps off the floor. The landing above is incorporated into the stair, “as if the stair was there first and the floor was built around it,” he explains. The entire interior was painted pure white, including the older beech wall shelving and window frames. “There are so many lines that it becomes very delicate,” Mark observes. “Facing south, the space sparkles, and now the shadows the sunscreens cast on the shelving is like pattern on pattern, mesmerizing.”
Said a judge: “The other details are quieter and allow this quirky and exuberant stair to exist. It’s a statement piece that’s pretty cool.”
Architect: Mark McInturff, FAIA, principal in charge; Colleen Healey, AIA, project architect, McInturff Architects, Washington, D.C.
Builder: Scott Taylor, Taylor Concepts, Rockville, Maryland
Interior designer: Michael Johnson, Mrj Design Group, Washington, D.C.
Metalwork: AK Metal Fabricators, Alexandria, Virginia
Woodwork: Andrew Greene, Potomac Woodwork, Gaithersburg, Maryland
Structural engineer: The Mateo Cobb Collaborative, Alexandria, Virginia
Project size: 4,100 square feet
Site size: 0.057 acre
Construction cost: Withheld
Photography: Anice Hoachlander, Julia Heine
Cabinetry: Kitchen and Bath Studios
Countertops: Honed Carrara marble
Faucets: Blanco, Grohe
Finish materials: Backpainted glass, Corian
Fireplace: Polished Carrara marble
Flooring: White oak
Paints: Benjamin Moore Super White
Refrigerator/freezer/Wine Refrigerator: Sub-Zero
Sinks: Blanco, Kohler
Vent hood: Best
Windows: Hope’s Windows