Plum Street
vienna, virginia

Explanation of Project including scope:

The site for this project is located in a town known for its notoriety when it comes to architectural style; the predominant style of houses in the Town of Vienna is the Craftsman style.

Our clients came to GMA with a clearly defined program: design a new 5,000 square feet, 4-bedroom single family home in an architectural style with a design vocabulary that sets the new building apart from the bungalows, but does not appear obviously out of place in the neighborhood.

Unusual Constraints or challenges:

In connection with the objective stated above, the primary challenge was for Team GMA to create a building that is distinct in terms of aesthetics from the Craftsman Style, which our client believed has become, in their own words, “very plain, common, ordinary, run-of-the-mill and not exceptional anymore. Every corner one turns, every street one drives on…it’s the same façade, the same garage, the same windows, the same doors, the same roof, same same same” due to the proliferation of this bungaloid style.

So, GMA set out to create a ‘different’ building that deviated from what has become the norm in the town, but would still fit in the street scape in terms of aesthetics and scale; a building that will be ‘special and unique’ but wouldn’t stick out like a sore thumb in the urban milieu of the Town of Vienna.

Creative solutions to the challenges:

We decided to utilize an architectural design approach known as Transitional Style which combines the Contemporary and Traditional styles.

Exterior components such as double hung windows and finishes that speak to Traditional architectural style such as stone, pitched roofs, battens and hardiepanel siding were combined with contemporary style elements such as metal cable rail, cedar, glass and flat roof systems.

The building scale and façade was carefully designed to evoke a sense and feelings of modesty and understated sophistication at the streetscape level.

Overall results of the project:

Though very fresh, original and different from its neighbors, the completed single family home manages to achieve this desired requirement of freshness, originality and novelty without obnoxiously doing so.

Our client’s desire for the new building to be respectful to the existing neighborhood has been successful. The results are there for all to see!



g. manu & associates - architectural design & build

g. manu & associates - architectural design & build