Autohaus is a full renovation and addition of a one-story garage, constructed in the 1800’s, located in a historic Washington DC alley. The clients, a young couple, enjoy working on and displaying their car collection, so this project merges their favorite hobby with their new living space. It also preserves the original use of the building as a garage with the new use as a residence.
Two facades were created for this house: the Garage façade sits at the alley edge, and is shared by people and cars, allowing visitors to view the autos displayed as they pass through. The House façade sits further in, framing the main living area and staircase. Once inside, the 2-story living space is open and light, with large skylights above. A fire-rated glass wall visually connects the living space and the garage, while the loft above is accessed by a transparent steel staircase. The kitchen is open to the living and dining areas, with a large poured-in-place concrete island. A pantry, mechanical space, and powder room are located behind the kitchen, concealed from view. The large basement, excavated as part of the renovation, provides storage for the house as well as the garage, with a lift-up access door for large car parts to be brought directly in and out of the garage. The floors have radiant heat throughout.
The second floor loft serves as a library, with a wall of books along the perimeter, and opens onto a rear outdoor deck. The folding glass wall creates a seamless indoor-outdoor connection, and brings light into the lower level. The original steel I-beams that once supported the roof now support the second floor, and new steel beams and columns support the added second floor roof. Corten steel on the second floor façade blends in with the industrial alley environment.