Rill Architects preserved this 1962 midcentury modern summer home located on Gibson Island, MD, retaining much of the vision by the original architect, the late Ulrich Franzen (a disciple of I.M. Pei). The home boasts a thin roofline and eight columns of weathering steel made from the original owner’s employer, Bethlehem Steel Corporation. This robust frame allows for a lack of load bearing exterior and interior walls, in which Franzen took the opportunity to incorporate a continuous band of glass that runs along the entire perimeter.

When searching for a summer retreat, the current owners discovered the home along a wooded inland lot at the island’s highest point above the convergence of the Chesapeake Bay and the Magothy River. Over the years, the home underwent several renovations creating an introverted interior, with awkward walls and doors that closed spaces off from exquisite views. Rill focused their improvements on honoring the home’s relationship between indoors and out.

Existing steel beams, glass walls and stone designed by Franzen were maintained while further opening the interior to accentuate the wooded property's natural beauty. Aside from the bedrooms and bathrooms, which are shielded by an interior front stone wall, Rill Architects turned the entire floor plan into an open layout, providing a perfect setting for the home's minimalist design.

The first-floor master bedroom was reoriented to take advantage of the view from the windows above a stone wall. Two first-level bathrooms were renovated, along with a complete overhaul of the kitchen. A new open staircase took the place of the existing elevator to the lower level and the indoor pool was removed to create a guest bathroom and bedroom/office with access to a semi-private patio. The family room fireplace wall was redesigned and the rear of the lower level was opened to the outdoors.

Rill also restored the exterior while adding a new terrace and outdoor pool, further enhancing the connection between the indoors and outdoors—the essence of Franzen’s original concept.

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Modern home with Exterior, Stone Siding Material, Flat RoofLine, House Building Type, and Metal Roof Material. MidCentury Modern Summer Home in Gibson Island, MD Photo  of MidCentury Modern Summer Home

MidCentury Modern Summer Home in Gibson Island, MD

Modern home with Exterior, House Building Type, Flat RoofLine, Metal Siding Material, Stone Siding Material, and Metal Roof Material. Exterior Side View with Outdoor Pool and Patio Photo 2 of MidCentury Modern Summer Home

Exterior Side View with Outdoor Pool and Patio

Modern home with Outdoor, Back Yard, Decking Patio, Porch, Deck, Swimming Pools, Tubs, Shower, Walkways, and Grass. Exterior Rear View with Outdoor Pool and Patio Photo 3 of MidCentury Modern Summer Home

Exterior Rear View with Outdoor Pool and Patio

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Interior Entry

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Interior Living Space and Fireplace

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Interior Living Space - Open Area

Modern home with Bedroom, Bed, Chair, Ceiling Lighting, Table Lighting, Porcelain Tile Floor, and Night Stands. Master Bedroom Entrance Photo 7 of MidCentury Modern Summer Home

Master Bedroom Entrance

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Master Bedroom

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Master Bedroom Entrance from Open Living Space

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Master Bath

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Dining Room and Seating Area

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Dining Area and Kitchen

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Kitchen

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Lower Level Guest Suite

Modern home with Outdoor, Back Yard, Decking Patio, Porch, Deck, Walkways, Grass, and Swimming Pools, Tubs, Shower. Exterior Rear View with Pool and Patio Photo 15 of MidCentury Modern Summer Home

Exterior Rear View with Pool and Patio

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Exterior Front Entrance and Driveway

Modern home with Exterior, Metal Roof Material, Stone Siding Material, Flat RoofLine, Metal Siding Material, and House Building Type. Exterior Front and Side View Photo 17 of MidCentury Modern Summer Home

Exterior Front and Side View

Interior Design
  • Kitchen Design: Shawna Dillon, Studio Snaidero DC Metro
Landscape Design
  • Tom Flaharty, Rivendell Landscaping, Inc
Photographer
  • Eric Taylor

Overview

Bedrooms
  • 4
  • Full Baths
  • 4
  • Structure
  • House (Single Residence)
  • Style
  • Midcentury
  • Year
  • 1962
  • Lot Size
  • Two acres