Upper Northwest has a reputation for having bland architecture, with the exception of pre-Depression Chevy Chase. But that’s proving itself to be a not completely true perception. Down at the eastern end of Audubon Terrace in Forest Hills there’s a real treasure of modern architecture, almost completely buried the trees of Soapstone Valley. Although it’s been a house I’ve admired since a stopping a run in the valley back in high school, Modern Capital clued me in to the house’s authorship by the definitive SoCal architect, Richard Neutra.
The residence, known as the Brown House, was built in 1968, only two years before the architect’s death. It is the only example of that architect’s work in DC, and one of only a few on the East Coast. More photos under the fold.
The buildings public rooms are largely open, with large overhangs that keep out the sun from the relaxing flow of space. The slate at the entrance has a very natural feel that simultaneously indicates a non-structural role by having the stones stand vertically, contrasting with the epic distance of the roof.
Further up the road, the building closes back up, facing a private sanctuary in an small corner of the city. A photographer named Michael Wilkinson has taken much better pictures of the building, including the spectacular interiors.