Photo © Maxwell MacKenzie


Robert Gurney

Bethesda, Maryland

Robert Gurney’s Wissioming2 is a suburban refuge outside bustling Washington, D.C., with Mondrian-inspired windows and cubic volumes nestled in the Maryland woods.

By Laura Raskin

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While Washingtonians haven’t exactly led the pack in their desire for modern residences, Robert Gurney, a D.C.-based architect, says that has dramatically changed since he began his practice in 1990. “Now there’s no shortage of people who want to do modern projects,” he says, including his client who commissioned two neighboring houses in Glen Echo, Maryland, just outside the city. (Incidentally, Glen Echo is home to an enclave of about 20 mid-century houses by Keyes, Lethbridge, and Condon.)

The client, a developer, lives in one of the two, an 8,255-square-foot concrete-and-wood structure clad in mahogany, cement-board panels, and corrugated metal. The architect divided formal and informal spaces between two main rectilinear volumes, which connect via a glass bridge to form a T-shaped plan. Formal living and dining rooms are housed in the southern volume, while a kitchen, more relaxed living space, and garage define the northern one. Gurney further articulated the cubic forms by cantilevering some of the bedrooms.

Mondrian-inspired steel-framed windows lead to the woods and an infinity pool. With views of the Potomac as well, “this is so much about the outdoors,” says Gurney.

October 2012
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