Suzane Reatig Architecture

Suzane Reatig Architecture

Washington, DC


10th Street Duplexes

Two new infill townhouses, each containing two equally spacious two-level units are located in the Shaw and Blagden Alley historic districts, in Washington, DC.  The site is situated directly between a mid-century apartment building and two small single family row houses.

The main challenges were to design housing that would reinforce the existing historic urban fabric, and to achieve the qualities desired in a single-family home while maintaining the ease and convenience of city living.

The solution was to adapt the Victorian townhouse typology typical of the street to meet the needs of contemporary living, both on the exterior and interior. The buildings are finished with manganese iron spot brick on the street facade and weathered zinc corrugated metal on the alley facade.  On the street side, low-e glass windows reflect sunlight onto the iron spot brick, creating a purple metallic hue at certain times of day.  Bright green railings give a unique identity to the project and allude to nature in the city year round.  To complement the colorful and dynamic exterior, simple, neutral interior finishes provide a serene backdrop within which to take pause.

Inside, double height living areas and large windows create light and airy spaces in all units. The ground floor units open onto private patios in the front and rear, while the upper units have access to roof decks with expansive views of the nation’s capital. 

In urban infill housing where nature and sky are at a premium, the design emphasizes equally comfortable indoor and outdoor spaces to provide respite from the bustling city.

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Status: Built
Location: Washington, DC, US
Firm Role: Architect
Additional Credits: IT & Associates, MEP Engineers
MGV Structural Engineers
Alan Karchmer Photography