Though all the projects are nestled among 100-year old rowhouses on quiet streets, Ditto sought modernist architects to bring a current, identifiable look to his buildings.
In addition to Dep Design, the firm that designed the Truxton Circle condo project, Ditto hired Mark McInturff and Chicago-based architect Brad Lynch for this set of projects. This will be Lynch’s first project in D.C.
The group worked with the Historic Preservation Office on several designs to come up with plans that would work in the historic neighborhoods.
“You want to have some level of congruence with what’s around you, regarding the fenestration and proportionality, but they will definitely be more modern,” Martin Ditto, founder of the firm, said in an interview. “We want buildings that will stand out, and be a proud example of what can be done today, but that are as beautiful as what was done in the past.”
The materiality will bring in a modern edge to the neighborhoods, with greater usage of glass and metal than a typical brick rowhouse. Several of the units will have floor-to-ceiling windows and open floor plans between the kitchen, living room and dining room.
“We didn’t want to make a grand statement about contemporary architecture,” Lynch said in an email, “but we did want to take an individual and modern approach to subtly indicate present-day wants of open, contiguous spaces and an influx of natural light on the interior of the residences. In a city known for neo-traditional architecture and conservative aesthetics, it is refreshing to see Martin try something new and different.”
Each unit will have two or three bedrooms, with an average of 2,000 square feet per condo. “We’re not cramming in bedrooms,” said Ditto. “When you do, you lose the element of beauty and enjoyment of living there.”
Other features include roof decks, integrated appliances, heated bathroom floors and advanced closet systems.
Ditto’s previous projects attracted attention, in part, because of their price points: A four-bedroom unit at his project at Fifth and Q streets NW sold for $1.45 million upon completion, and he estimates that the three-bedroom condos in Truxton Circle will sell at above the $1 million range.
Ditto has not priced the current set of condos yet, but the similar size and quality hints that prices will also reach the upper limit of the market.
“We will try to charge what the market will bear,” Ditto said.