Magnificent Stone Estate

Location: McLean, VA

This majestic 1920s estate is timeless in its design and a testament to the craftsman of a bygone era. Expertly built with stone, cement, wood, slate, and copper, this waterfront gem will shine for decades to come.

Unfortunately, an easily identifiable contemporary stone addition was commissioned in the 1970s, leaving the home fighting for an identity. Unique, modern and interesting in its own right, the addition looked more like an afterthought than a carefully integrated addition. The current owners were sensitive to the design aesthetic and turned to Kohlmark Group to rework the exterior and transform the vintage modern space into something more appropriate and suitable to the homes architectural origins. The 1970s addition was completely demolished and the home was expanded in that location to blend with the original design.

Sitting on the banks of the Potomac River, we designed the new facade and entire north gable along with a pool and patio for outdoor entertaining. The steep site and river views presented an opportunity to design a dramatic multi-level terrace. The stairs and terraced patios descend with the topography, incrementally transporting people to the “ground” level. The pool overlooks the river and features a negative edge. Despite its more contemporary origins, the feature is striking and feels “right” in spite of its overwhelmingly traditional surroundings.

Careful research was needed to source new stone for the addition and our investigation eventually led to a quarry in Carderock, MD; the very same quarry used for the original 1920s home. Needless to say, the stone was a perfect match, and even a trained eye will struggle to separate new from old. The same also goes for the architectural detail. Appropriate and accurate elements resulted in a new addition that’s indistinguishable from the original home. In fact, all details were recreated in such a way that the original home and new addition now read as one.