At first, all Debra Lee planned to do was expand her home. The BET chief executive wanted more closets, a family room and a larger entertaining space. But as the project evolved, it began to make more sense to build a completely new house, which is how she wound up with this modern residence next to her former home in the Massachusetts Heights neighborhood of Northwest Washington.

“We came to the conclusion that I could get everything in a new home for her so there weren’t compromises,” architect Michael Marshall said. “She could live the way she wanted to live privately and then also have room to do the type of things she likes to do for” entertaining.

What Lee likes to do runs from cozy dinners to charity events to political fundraisers to star-studded extravaganzas, and this home has accommodated them all.

Distinguished homes for sale in the D.C. region

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22941 Foxcroft Rd., Middleburg, Va. (Roman Caprano/Sky Blue Media)

The glass, steel and stucco structure capitalizes on its location. The curved facade mimics the bend in the street. The walls of windows frame panoramic scenes of Rock Creek Park that change with the seasons. The main living spaces are elevated above the street to allow an unimpeded view of the woodland landscape.

To blur the distinction between where Rock Creek Park ends and the property begins, trees were planted close to the home. Landscaping by T&J Lawn Service helped make an open home seem secluded.

“We really set it up so that it feels very private,” Marshall said. “Even with all that glass, it’s very private.”

Natural light streams through the windows, highlighting Lee’s collection of glass artwork. When selecting the materials for the home, Marshall kept to a neutral, limited palette. He wanted to keep them simple so as not to compete with her artwork. “Her collection is world-class, and we really wanted it to show,” he said.

The house — two wings connected by a curved walls of glass — combines residential and commercial construction techniques. It was built by Davis Construction, a firm known more for its government and commercial projects than for private homes.

“It’s really a hybrid construction,” said Marshall, whose Georgetown-based firm Marshall Moya Design has worked on restaurants (Tosca, Posto), sports arenas (D.C. United Stadium, Fort Dupont Ice Arena), cultural centers (the Howard Theatre), mixed-used development (City Vista) and private residences.

“We brought the best of all of those experiences together in this one house,” he said.

Among the features not typically found in a residential home are the commercial glass elevator, the eight-car garage and the restaurant-style chillers in the wine room.

Although he has worked on some prestigious projects, Marshall described the house as “the highlight of my career.”

“For an architect, this was one of those dream projects,” he said. “It was a totally blank canvas.”

The four-level, 10,897-square-foot home is on the market for $13.5 million.

Listing agent: Marilyn Charity, Washington Fine Properties