Washington, DC

Columbia Heights Ventures Parcel 15, LLC

Service Type

Project Type

4,000 sf

September 2007

2009 NAIOP Maryland/DC Award of Merit
Best First Floor Use

2008 AIA|DC Award of Merit
Interior Architecture

2008 Washington Business Journal
Best Real Estate Deals Award
Best Interior Design

Kenyon Square is a large 153 unit high-end residential condominium building in the newly revitalized neighborhood of Columbia Heights in Washington DC. The scope of the interior designer’s services consisted of the common spaces, including the lobbies, lounges, corridors, elevators, and library. The developer wanted a design that appealed to an older, more established client and younger professionals; and to differentiate itself from its retro-modern neighbors.

The resulting design concept created a balance and tension within each space of the traditional and the modern. This was achieved in many ways. One technique exaggerated or manipulated certain traditional elements to such a degree that each became an object unto itself with a memory of the past and yet modern. Another technique was to insert modern elements among more traditional elements creating quiet tension.

Interesting results came from this approach. For instance, the double-height lounge is traditionally designed with dark raised panels and pilasters, beams, crown moldings, coffered ceiling, and dark wood flooring. The coffer recesses, though, have a brushed stainless steel inlay with modern pendant light fixtures. The concrete Mondrian-like fireplace, the centerpiece of the lounge, creates a quiet tension with the traditional.

An example of manipulation of the traditional is seen in the lobby’s grand stair. The double-height lobby contains similar detailing to the lounge. The stair, constructed of dark stained wood treads and railings, contains materials reminiscent of the traditional. The design and detailing of the railings are modern manipulations of the traditional, where the posts are stainless steel with dark stained wood concentric circle panels between.

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