attic addition in Petworth: just don't call it a "pop-up"

As its popularity has increased in recent years, Washington DC has seen a surge of developers purchasing distressed single-family row houses and converting them to multi-family condominiums. Often, they add a third or fourth level to the top of the buildings, popping them up over adjacent row homes and disrupting the historical fabric of the block. Neighbors have been referring to these as "pop-ups," and not as a term of endearment.

In this context, when this Petworth homeowner approached aggregate with the desire to expand their living space upward, they insisted that their top-floor addition blend into the existing roofline of the classic turn-of-the-century row in which their home serves as the end unit.

The house has an attic with a small peak at the front of the house, but behind the peak, ceilings drop off quickly to crawl-space height. The homeowner, an interior designer with whom aggregate has worked on several projects in the past, seeks to convert the attic into another story of living space that ultimately leads to a rooftop terrace at the rear of the home. In this design, new and old are delicately balanced to keep the addition from standing out in contrast to the rest of the home, and the rest of the block.

In collaboration with: McGovern Design Studio
Project status: design development