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Presenting, this year’s stunning John Russell Pope Award Winners

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From residents to chapels to museums

Classical architecture and interior design got the spotlight in this year’s John Russell Pope Awards with 13 local architects and designers winning recognition for their highly refined designs.

The Institute of Classical Architecture & Art (ICAA) Washington Mid Atlantic Chapter named the awards after John Russell Pope, the same architect behind the Jefferson Memorial and the National Gallery of Art’s West Building.

The winners range from renovated mansions to chapels to design proposals for theaters and museums. Below, take a look at which architects were featured along with excerpts of the project statements.

Winner for New Construction under 5,000 square feet

“West River House” by Wouter Boer, Jones & Boer Architects

Project statement excerpt: “The composition of windows and doors on the elevation fronting the farm presents the plan's true spatial arrangement, while on the water side a long porch with symmetrically placed second floor windows breaks the plan's dominance. These two elevations attempt to give the house both a formal side from the water approach and a more agrarian feel when viewed from the farm. On the water side, doors open onto a shaded porch with a deep overhang, allowing breezes off the river to passively cool the main living areas.”

Winner for New Construction over 5,000 square feet

“Chain Bridge House” by Wouter Boer, Jones & Boer Architects

Project statement excerpt: “The developer wanted to build a new speculative house that would rival the beauty and grandeur of the great mansions built in the city during the 1910s and 1920s. It would stand as a testament to the local construction industry; that beauty, craftsmanship, quality, and a sense of timelessness are still valued and achievable in today's real estate market. A full program was written by an experienced real estate agent, envisioning a house that could accommodate even major D.C. fundraising events. The Architect took advantage of the site's long street frontage with a five-part plan for the main house, with a lower one-story garage and service wing.”

Winner for Addition/Renovation under 5,000 square feet

“Kalorama Renovation” by Donald Lococo

Project statement excerpt: “Located in the city’s historic district, three disjointed additions added over time are replaced with a single thought that enlarges eating spaces and refines circulation. A metal and wood conservatory, sympathetic to the homes of this era, is a contrasting but complementary form that delineates original house from addition ... Replacing the stair landing with winders raises stairway so that below it, the main hallway becomes continuous in height and view to gardens. Adding conservatory doors at the end of the newly opened entry hall and stacking the basement stair under the one above it, clarifies and centralizes circulation.”

Winner for Addition/Renovation over 5,000 square feet

“Addition to a Pope House” by Barnes Vanze Architects

Project statement excerpt: “In 1932, the Folger family commissioned John Russell Pope to design a home in our nation’s capital for their daughter and her family. The site, over two acres in the heart of the nation’s capital, slopes significantly towards three surrounding streets, the house sitting atop the hill. The renovation, respectful to John Russell Pope’s original design, preserves the house, terraces and gardens. The addition, while compatible and sympathetic to the house, is subservient, composed of a hyphen and dependency.”

Winner for Civic and Institutional Design

“Christopher Newport Hall” by Glavé & Holmes Architecture

Project statement excerpt: “Christopher Newport Hall sits at the eastern end of Christopher Newport University’s Great Lawn, a grandly-proportioned campus green space that serves as the unifying center of the academic core. Located at the gateway to the heart of the campus, this 82,000-square-foot building serves not only as the frontispiece of the Great Lawn, but is also the ‘crown jewel’ for the University. The grand staircase, stately dome and columned drum raise the aesthetic above the surrounding structures and allude to the importance of the building functions contained within.”

Winner for Ecclesiastical Design under 3,000 square feet

“Mary’s Chapel” by O’Brien and Keane Architects

Project statement excerpt: “Mary’s Chapel is inspired by the Porziuncola of St. Francis near Assisi, Italy, whose volume and proportions served as a point of departure for this project. The interior flooring throughout is two-centimeter thick marble, set on a deep mortar bed and polished in place, without grout joints. Colorful marble was chosen to contrast with the neutral tones of the limestone and plaster. In the nave, four large slabs of Azul Macauba are arranged in a diamond book match pattern. Marble liturgical furnishings, also designed by the architect, serve to provide the necessary accommodations for the religious rites intended for the chapel.”

Winner for Ecclesiastical Design over 3,000 square feet

“St. Mary’s Help” by McCrery Architects

Project statement excerpt: “This project for an entirely new Roman Catholic church building is situated in the heart of a thriving mid-size South Carolina town.

Arranged as a large cruciform basilica with side aisles and high clerestory windows and custom-designed light fixtures, the church seats 1000. The sanctuary features a carefully assembled mix of antique church furnishings and newly designed elements.”

Winner for Historic Preservation

“U.S. Capitol Restoration” by Historical Arts and Casting

Project statement excerpt: “Built on what was originally Jenkins Hill overlooking the Potomac River, the U.S. Capitol has a 200-year history of being built, rebuilt, expanded, and restored.

In November of 2016, work was completed on the most extensive restoration of the U.S. Capitol dome since its construction in 1863.”

Winner for Interior Design, Multiple Rooms

“New Life for a Storied Home” by Patrick Sutton Interiors

Project statement excerpt: “This historic Georgetown residence was [purchased] with the intent of updating the interior while maintaining its heritage as a welcoming place to entertain family and guests. The home, through its design and art curation, tells the story of the young entrepreneurial owners and their interest in contemporary thinkers, world exposure, quality of craft, and respect for our nation’s capital and its traditions. The new marble stair, for instance, is fabricated from the same marble quarry that supplied the Thomas Jefferson Memorial.”

Winner for Artisanship-Ironwork

“Ironwork in the Artisan Tradition” by Iron Masters, Inc.

Project statement excerpt: “The skill required to transform the concept from the horizontal of the upper floor to the curves and slopes of the stairs were outstanding.”

Winner for Artisanship-Stone

“Monumental Staircase” by Marmi Natural Stone

Project statement excerpt: “Originally built circa 1815, The Ambassador Bruce House is arguably the most storied private home in Georgetown. In 2015, the property was purchased and an extensive restoration was undertaken, including the grand staircase. Over 500 cubic feet of Olympian White Danby from Vermont was used ... [and] there are 27 interlocking, self-supporting treads, each tread weighing anywhere from 850 pounds to 1,350 pounds.”

Winner for John Russell Pope Horizon Builders Student Award

“Debate Theater” by Parker Hansen

Project statement excerpt: “The debate theater that parallels Pennsylvania Avenue is designed to convey the value of national civil discourse while emphasizing L’Enfant’s plan of Washington ... The elegant yet severe Ionic order of the Temple of Illissus complements the austere classicism of John Russell Pope’s nearby masterpieces. While the parti is oriented on the axis between the Capitol and the White House, convention suggests a monumental entrance on the Mall. The great hall resolves this conflict: serving as a hinge, the staircase directs attention to the debate hall.”

Winner for John Russell Pope Horizon Builders Student Award

“Shipbuilding Museum” by Michael Rabe

Project statement excerpt: “The site and building design offer a public link between the city and the river as well as provide spaces for public events inside and outside ... The attached boat sheds are of a much lighter construction, reminiscent of sheds used for boat construction or dry dock. The specific maritime references, in the form of the sheds and in details throughout the museum, infuse the museum with the spirit of its use and increases the experiential satisfaction of visitors.”

John Russell Pope Awards [Institute of Classical Architecture & Art]