Our newest project: CUBIC HOUSE

We are renovating a 1940s house in Northwest DC. Check out these existing vs. proposed images!

This project illustrates what can be done with a modest budget to transform the average DC house. For more images, click HERE.


Here at archi-TEXTUAL we are grateful to have five house renovation projects under construction! We stopped by each one today to take a look at their various stages of completion.

Project 1: Brookland DC

full gut renovation + rear addition

Project 2: Petworth Rowhouse

full gut renovation + new basement apartment

Project 3: Takoma Park Bungalow

full gut renovation, construction by owner

Project 4: Petworth Townhouse

full gut renovation + new basement apartment

Project 5: Petworth Semi-Detached

full gut renovation + carriage house addition

In addition to these five, we have two more projects entering demolition phase, and will soon be under construction!


post by Catarina Ferreira, AIA

Site clearing work has started at our Annapolis Renovation project. Four months into the design process, we are preparing to issue the project for construction permit approval!
The efficiency of the design process in this project is due in part to our use of BIM software, our amazingly decisive clients, and an integrated project delivery method.

In the majority of our projects the contractor (and pertinent consultants) join the project team early on in the process. Instead of until bid documents are ready to obtain pricing, we often recommend to our clients that they start interviewing contractors during the schematic design phase, we issue preliminary budget development drawings sometime during design development, and by the time we issue the drawings for permit a contractor is already under contract, the budget for construction has been validated, and the path to a successful partnership has been cleared. Major design issues are discussed with the contractor early on, he provides feedback regarding the relative cost of the various options, we move forward efficiently with that validation.
In the interest of time, we also separate the project into two main design phases: main building architecture, and finish/fixture selections. Often finish and fixture selections are finalized after the permit has been issued, as they are not pertinent to the permitting process and can take a significant amount of time to finalize. The same applies to custom elements and cabinet selections.

The key to making this work is to design at all scales simultaneous, keeping in mind what we may want the finished project to look like in the end all along so we can ‘plan’ accordingly, but allowing the fine details to be worked out after the complexities of the building have been addressed. Often the construction contract includes allowances for the finishes and fixtures, which are reconciled once final selections are made.

This process is sometimes called design/build, guaranteed maximum price, or as I prefer to call it, and integrated project delivery method (IPDM). Integrated Project Delivery is also the recommended method for projects in which sustainability is a concern, as it often leads to more sustainable, more efficient and better coordinated buildings in the end.

In this particularly project, sustainability is indeed a concern. The house will be heated/cooled by a geothermal system, the new siding will be fiber-reinforced cement board, LED lighting will be provided throughout, and the finishes will be from sustainable or recycled materials. The existing house is also being ‘recycled’ through a deconstruction process via Baltimore Based 2nd Chance. Existing finishes, fixtures, etc, will be carefully removed and donated for resale and reuse.

We will keep you updated on the latest developments, but wanted to share our excitement about how smoothly this project has progressed to date. Stay tuned!


post by Catarina Ferreira, AIA

Our latest project acquisition is the renovation of a 1974 house in a heavily wooded site in Annapolis MD.

True to its time, the existing house consist of two separate volumes connected by a 2nd story bridge, and features an overly prominent roof lines, garage as ‘front door,’ a sunken conversation pit and oddly located outdoor jacuzzi, among many other charming, slightly retro features. It has been virtually untouched since its construction, presenting the new owners the opportunity of living in a contemporary home that meets their taste and needs, on a beautiful wooded site for a relatively smaller level of investment than purchasing an already renovated house.

Below are some images of the exterior of the existing house.

The proposed design involves a full interior renovation, connecting the two separate volumes and rooflines, breaking down the scale of the roofs, relocating the garage door, new siding and windows throughout, new roofing. The creation of a welcoming front to the house through the addition of a new double height entrance vestibule between the two existing volumes was a crucial design decision early on in schematic design, and it has set in motion a sequence of design moves that effectively transform the house.

An important focus in this project is the application of sustainable principles for energy conservation and material choices. Geothermal heating/cooling is in the program for the project, along energy efficient lighting, cement board siding, energy efficient windows, etc.

Here are some initial views of the proposed modifications to the exterior of the house. More to come.