Force of nature

With two homes destroyed by trees, this owner turned the other cheek creating a cutting edge sustainable (and tree-proof) house like no other

Designed by David Jameson Architect

From the architect:

Back story:

Seventeen years ago, the owners of this home purchased a Charles Goodman designed Mid-century Modern home after their existing home was damaged beyond repair by a tree fall. 

Then, in 2010, a tree destroyed their Goodman home, which had been published in a 1949 issue of Architectural Record.

In rebuilding their home, the homeowners wanted a twofer – a robust structure able to withstand any future tree falls, that could also act as a launching pad for significant energy and suitability innovations that were not possible when the Goodman home was built.


The new home, by David Jameson Architect, more than responds to these requirements and creates a dramatic, aesthetically arresting home at the same time.

Like a mirage, this home explores the shape of water and its experiential qualities.

Panels of rippled steel provide privacy and reflect the earth and sky, rendering unclear the building’s scale and materiality.

Planar glazing, both kinetic and fixed, blurs the distinction between interior and exterior spaces that ebb and flow around the pool and courtyard.

Energy focus

The project explores sustainability innovation through building tectonics and assembly.  The custom stainless-steel façade system utilises a back-ventilated rainscreen over aluminium plate-clad insulated wall panels. 

A custom coplanar glazing system designed for the project utilises face glazed ceramic fritted panels supported on FSC certified Sapele wood frames, minimising thermal transfer.  The stainless-steel panel and glazing systems act together as a zero-maintenance façade. 

Geothermally charged radiant tubing both heats and cools the stone floors using the thermal mass of precast concrete floor systems. 

The green roof reduces stormwater runoff, conserves energy, increases the longevity of the roofing membrane, and increases biodiversity by providing habitat for wildlife. 

Solar shades, LED lighting, and natural daylighting work together to provide the ideal lighting scenarios desired at different times of the day and year.

Credit list

Lighting consultant
DKT Lighting and Design
Structural engineer
Linton Engineering
Civil engineer
Cas Engineering
General contractor
Ally DC
Fascia cladding
Rimex Metals
Lewis Aquatech:
Marble kitchen splashback; kitchen island solid surfacing; sink fittings; custom cabinetry
Lounge Chair and Ottoman
Flemming Lassen
Benjamin Moore & Co
Shower Fittings
Recessed lighting throughout
Lucifer Lighting Company
Project team
Patrick Mcgowan, Alex Stitt, Alexandra Wojno
Audiovisual consultant
Mechanical, electrical, and plumbing
Foley Mechanical
Acoustical consultant
Baswa Acoustic
Stainless Steel Cladding
Window walls
Tradewood Windows & Doors
Cedar wall and ceiling cladding
TW Perry
Paving, floor tile
Stone source
Family room furniture
Furniture from Scandinavia, by Annette Rachlin
Shower walls and doors
Dulles Glass
Wall tile
AIA|DC Chapter Design Award Winner

Designed by: David Jameson Architect

Story by: Trendsideas

Photography by: Paul Warchol

29 Aug, 2021

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