Personal Projects

Personal Projects
Client projects
Arlington home, Arlington VA (2006-present)
My latest project is a large single family dwelling designed and built from the ground up.  Scope includes all architecture, landscape and interiors.  This is probably one of the greenest houses in the metropoitan DC area.  While substantially complete, work is on-going.  Click either picture or here to go to a separate page on this project.

3602 front
Front (north) view
3602 Rear view
Rear (south) view

4227 Amau St., Honolulu Hawaii (2003-2005)
The house was built in 1953 in Kahala - a flat dry area of Honolulu on the other side of Diamond Head from Waikiki.  The project included doing numerous restorations to the house (unheard of in Hawaii).  Primary here is the landscape.  Being expensive to buy and usable year round, every bit of land is used. My goal was to produce a landscape, not a garden, and included the pool, the pond, a cabana bath, whirlpool spa, and outdoor shower. 
Owing to a corner lot which sits high from the street, the plan reverses the norm - the front and front side yard becomes the 'backyard' play space. The pool takes on a lap-friendly,50's kitch, Hawaiian shape.  A U-shaped screen enclosed the equipment and forms one wall of a pergola off the master bedroom and ends the short end of the pool with a water fountain spout.  The pergola protects the room from the morning tropical sun, it blocks view of a telephone pole as one moves up the yard, and it defines the more intimate space around the volcano spa.  Taken from my work at 3626 Leahi (see below) the volcano spa reflects Hawaii by being an island in a sea of gravel.  An outdoor shower surrounded by a grove of MacArthur palms at the far top of the yard completes the progression from public to intimate.  The whole front side is surrounded by a moss rock wall, topped by a wooden fence with a continuous Murraya paniculata (orange jessamine) hedge inside to unify all the parts and provide absolute privacy from the street.
The back yard, off the huge lanai being the highest profile outside space when a visitor comes into the property, acts as a front yard. It includes a formal raised pond, Japanese style stepping stones set in gravel, and a grove of black bamboo (phyllostachys nigra). The bamboo provides privacy from the neighbors and shade from the western sun.  It is contained by the ability to stop watering it. 

Site Plan (click to enlarge)
4227 Amau entryway
1 Entry formed by new cabana powder room
4227 Amau front yard
2 View of the cabana bath with swing and house front
$227 Amau pool
3 Pool looking towrds waterspout, mech. screen, and master bedroom pergola
4227 Amau view of pergola
4 View of pergola off master bedroom
4227 Amau View of pool
5 View from pergola looking back at pool
4227 Amau volcano spa
6 Volcano spa with shower beyond rock wall.
4227 Amau backyard
7 Backyard with bamboo grove and pond
4227 Amau lanai
8 Lanai facing backyard, house entry at left behind bookshelf room divider.

3 Vacation Condos, Honolulu, Hawaii (2001-2002)
This project was the purchase and renovation of three Waikiki condo units for use as short term vacation rentals.  Small changes to the problematic existing plans made for gracious and efficient spaces.  Decorating was done in a cool, tropical theme.  I ran the unit rentals successfully for three years before selling the units at a profit.

AlohaHale view of mural
Studio unit view of cove lit mural
Aloha Hale unit, bed
Studio unit view of bed
One bedroom unit living area
Studio unit plan
The Pacific Monarch viewed from Waikiki Beach

3626 Leahi landscape, Honolulu, Hawaii (2002)
This project strted by walling in a 5000 s.f. lot across the street from Kapiolani Park.  Around the house the overriding concept was to creat planting islands in a sea of gravel, as an imitation of the Hawaiian islands surrounded by the Pacific.   Being on a dry side micro-climate, this provided asuccessful way to balance dry and sprinklered areas.

3626 Leahi tropical garden
Garden view looking towards sugar cane
3626 Leahi garden view
Garden view at Black bamboo stand hiding a private outdoor shower in the far corner

2020 Hillyer Place, NW, Washington DC (1999-2002)
We found this burnt out shell in a prime Dupont Circle location.  It gave the opportunity to gut and do a completely new interior, before it became common to do so in historic townhouses in DC. Complete loss of all original features also gave the opportunity for an unapologetic modern interior.
Built in 1886, the original house had many Japonaise details, as was the fashion of the time.  Picking up on this and with my study of Japanese language, I incorporated Japanese features such as the shojis screens, and materials use with the extensive maple (which being rarely used at the time was very affordable) combined with clay green colors similar to traditional Japanese tea house color combinations.
This house was on the 2000 Dupont Circle House Tour. 

Shoji screens at master suite
2020 Hillyer Place NW Living/Dining
Kitchen view showing checkerboard tile and st. steel cabinets
Exterior porch formed from gutting a 20's addition at the rear of the house
View of main room looking towards front bay
Master bedroom with bed floating in room and Japanese style tokonoma built-ins

2918 18th St NW, Washington DC (1989-1998)
On our first home built mid 1920's, this years-long renovation started with hands-on work restoring windows each by hand and painstakingly stripping of all the original interior doors and hardware.  Major bath and kitchen renovations responded to the 1920's original by using similar materials and aiming at similar ideals popular when the house was built.

2918 18th St Living Room
Living room with high wainscot moulding and glazed walls
Kitchen with linoleum floors, lab top counters
Master bath added at second floor sleeping porch