Category: Residential

Location: Bethesda, MD
Size: 7095 sq. ft.
Masonry Used: 17,000 units of used brick to match the existing traditional brick on the existing residence.
Submitted by: Muse Architects

Project Description

Program The addition to and renovation of this 1930's brick residence at the end of a public road in Bethesda, MD was completed for a newspaper editor, a journalist, and their two daughters. While primarily serving as the owners' private home, the new residence also needed to accommodate guests during large public receptions.

Interior programmatic requirements centered on a new family room, office and guest room on the first floor, as well as a master suite and office on the second floor. All other existing rooms were to be renovated or repurposed, allowing for improved spaces with an easy flow of circulation.


Our intention was to design a contextual addition, which, while providing the desired interior spaces, also opens the residence to the adjacent public parkland. Matching the existing brick and replicating the intricate belt, soldier, header, rowlock, corbel and dogtooth coursings allows the addition to be a comfortable and natural extension of the existing structure. The living room was renovated with larger leaded glass windows and the dining room was relocated to the end of the entry hall with a new library taking its place. In order to allow for a more generous entry hall and improve circulation, the stair was relocated from the front hall to what would become the space between the existing house and new addition. At the new stair, the brick coursing and detailing of the original exterior walls is matched in the new construction opposite. Skylights, lay lights and a wall of glass block allow natural light into the center of the new floor plan. Bridging the link between old and new, and borrowing some light from the stair, a family room was designed to maximize exposure to the public parkland. While being compatible in its architecture, this addition employs three walls of windows, and allows views and natural light previously unavailable to the existing residence. Large openings connect the living and dining rooms to the family room and improve the interior circulation. These openings also strengthen the connection to the exterior, where brick walkways and walls further tie the house to the landscape. Dry set brick paving defines the terrace between the family room and parkland as well as the more private dining terrace created by and accessible from the new dining room and kitchen.

Energy efficiency in this residence is greatly improved with the implementation of a geothermal HVAC system, foam insulation, and all new windows. Reclaimed materials include the reuse of materials from the existing timber porch, existing slate roof, and reclaimed hardwood floors.

Project Participants

Architect / Designer's Name: Stephen Muse, FAIA

Company: Muse Architects
Email: [email protected]
Phone: (301) 718-8118

Structural Engineer' s Name: Wayne Bryan

Company: Ehlert/Bryan, Inc.
Phone: (703) 827-9552

General Contractor's Name: George Fritz

Company: Horizon Builders Inc.
Email: [email protected]
Phone: (301) 261-6706

Masonry Contractor's Name: Robert Baczynski

Company: B&B Masonry
Phone: (240) 417-2862

Masonry Supplier's Name: Patrick Dixon

Company: Antique Brick Supply
Email: [email protected]
Phone: (410) 549-3929