What’s the Twist Behind This Home’s Sinuous Staircase? Ordinary Plywood

What’s the Twist Behind This Home’s Sinuous Staircase? Ordinary Plywood

By Elaine Louie / Photos by John Horner
A renowned architect transforms a 1920s home, drawing upon a palette of plywood and glass to dramatic effect.

At first appearance, with its modest windows and great expanse of brick, a renovated four-story home dating to the 1920s in the Rock Creek neighborhood of Washington, D.C., looks conservative and polite, like the houses nearby. It does not scream. But in the rear, the house opens up. The southern facade is lined with windows, concealed from passersby and motorists, and the southeast corner is a series of glass boxes that jut out a few inches from the main house. From the top floor, there is a view of the Washington Monument and the great swath of the Mall. The front of the house is discreet; the rear is not. It is nearly transparent.

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