2023 RDAA | Renovation | Middle Garden | Colleen Healey Architecture

Middle Garden “utterly transformed the experience of living in the house,” a judge said. Indeed, for a center-hall colonial on a tight urban lot, this was accomplished with a rear kitchen and screened porch addition no larger than 420 square feet. Fitted with skylights and floor-to-ceiling metal-frame windows, the sunny kitchen extends partway into the garden, combining the wife’s love of cooking with the husband’s passion for gardening. An adjacent screened porch shades the east-facing kitchen as the sun comes around the house. It connects to the existing living room, and to the backyard via wide stairs that double as casual garden-side seating.

“As architects we try to connect an addition back to the original house, and in some cases sort of torture the original footprint and back elevation,” says Colleen Healey, AIA. “In this case we really let the floor plan stay as it was and let the addition do the talking to the garden.” Still, the existing kitchen was reconfigured as a butler’s pantry serving the dining room. And a powder room was moved into the addition, opening a sight line through the center hall to the garden. White paneled cabinetry and white oak flooring help tie together the new and old architecture. “The window patterns are beautiful,” a judge said, praising the addition’s lovely execution of form and details.



Colleen Healey Architecture
Middle Garden
Washington, D.C.

Project Credits

Architect: Colleen Healey, AIA, Colleen Healey Architecture, Washington, D.C.

Builder: Matt Proper, Freeman Builders, Washington, D.C.

Engineer: George Norton, Norton Engineering Consultants, Fairfield, New Jersey

Project size: 420 square feet

Site size: 0.18 acre

Construction cost: Withheld

Photography: Jennifer Hughes

Key Products

Bath Ventilation: Panasonic

Cladding: HardiePanel

Cooktop/range: JennAir

Decking: TimberTech

Dishwasher: Bosch

Entry doors: Western Windows

Faucets: Brio

HVAC system: Mitsubishi

Icemaker: JennAir

Insulation/house wrap: ZIP System

Lighting: WAC

Lighting control: Lutron Decora

Paints: Benjamin Moore

Refrigerator: JennAir

Roofing: EPDM

Sinks: Kraus 

Skylights: VELUX

Windows: Windsor Windows