2022 RDAA | Architectural Details | Georgetown House | McInturff Architects

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.”


Architectural Details

McInturff Architects

Georgetown House

Washington, D.C.

Project Credits

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

Key Products

Cabinetry: Kitchen and Bath Studios

Cooktop/Ovens: Wolf

Countertops: Honed Carrara marble

Dishwasher: Bosch

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

Toilets: TOTO

Vent hood: Best

Windows: Hope’s Windows