Text by Cook Architecture
Nestled neatly within the trees, this remodeled Charles Goodman designed home by Cook Architecture stands as an elegant expression of postwar modernism: simple, functional, and in perfect balance with its hillside setting.
Designed in 1951 by pioneering architect Charles Goodman and part of the National Register of Historic Places-listed Hammond Wood neighborhood, the house bears all of the hallmarks of a great Goodman design.
Charles Goodman and his architectural associates packed a lot of high-design concepts into modest houses. It was important to him that “good design” was accessible to everyone.
This democratic notion was incredible for the time. Goodman basically had the same prescription for these small houses as the larger, higher-end, custom homes he designed for the DC elite.
Everybody got the same thing, just on different scales. In this home, those design elements include cathedral ceilings, an open floor plan concept, natural materials such as solid oak flooring, large brick fireplace, and floor to ceiling windows, all creating fantastic living spaces with garden areas flowing inside.
For this project, we transformed the modest three bedroom/two bathroom plan, into a four bedroom/two full bathroom, 1,710 square foot home. Goodman’s design was left mostly intact with living spaces updated to reflect contemporary needs and preferences.
Walls of new double-pane, low-e insulated windows offer well-framed views of the wooded lot. Refinished hardwoods and a reclaimed wood-clad ceiling add warmth and texture to the bright interior.
Goodman’s trademark recycled red brick fireplace anchors the new open-plan living and dining room, while the reconfigured galley kitchen balances the uninterrupted space.
In the expanded kitchen,Poggenpohl cabinets, custom walnut shelves, a Royal Mosa tile backsplash, and streamlined appliances blend seamlessly with the home’s minimalist aesthetic.
On the lower level of the house, a complete redesign retained the original footprint while offering more functional space and a further connection to the outdoors. Bedrooms were rearranged along one side of the house to provide a spacious den with floor-to-ceiling windows.
Separate utility rooms became one multipurpose space, including laundry and extra storage. All HVAC, plumbing, and electrical systems have been upgraded, and new light fixtures were implemented to refresh the modern interior.
With its walls of glass, open plan, and embrace of the landscape, the house provides ample opportunities for true indoor/outdoor living.
A private concrete patio space is defined by an undulating retaining wall and a wood slat screen that mirrors the original siding. In the backyard, a small brick patio creates an intimate gathering place under the mature trees, its red brick pavers a nod to Goodman’s monolithic chimney.
Though the two-level home remained relatively unchanged for decades, our firm breathed life back into the house, completing a sensitive renovation that marries modern-day conveniences with mid-century style.
The newly renovated home looks to the future without forgetting the past, balancing preservation with renovation and melding Goodman modernism with the efficiency and practicality of twenty- first-century design.