Amy Gould spent her architectural career designing institutional, health-care, laboratory and corporate facilities. The renovation of this house on Gibson Island was one of the few residential projects she undertook.
“The houses that I did were really for friends, neighbors and family,” Gould said. “I have enormous respect for residential design. I think it’s frankly one of the hardest things to do.”
Gould designed the renovations of at least six houses on Gibson Island. She also designed her own home on the island.
“My approach to all of these houses, which was an approach that, I think, was appreciated by all of the property owners, is that I took the lightest touch possible, rather than feeling that I had to make my own design statement,” Gould said.
The 1952 glass-and-brick house was originally designed by Avery Faulkner, who was described in a 2007 Washington Post obituary as a “scion of a distinguished family of Washington architects.” When he was a 22-year-old architectural student at Yale, his father, Waldron, asked him to design a vacation home on Gibson Island. His parents’ summer home was Avery’s first solo house design.
“My father, who was also an architect, thought it would be good for a graduate architectural student to design a home of his own,” Faulkner told Baltimore Style in a 2005 article about the house.
Inspired by Philip Johnson’s Glass House in New Canaan, Conn., Faulkner created a one-level home with walls of glass that faced Otter Pond. He went on to become a senior partner in one of the District’s most prestigious architectural firms, Faulkner, Fryer and Vanderpool Architects, and designed numerous structures in the Washington area and the conversion of the Old Patent Office into the National Portrait Gallery and National Museum of American Art.
After his parents’ deaths, Faulkner bought the home from their estate. He sold it to the current owners in 1993. They are just the third owners of the home.
In 1997, they asked Gould to design the renovation. They wanted to add a master suite on the second level and update the home for today’s living.
“They did treat the house with the utmost respect,” Gould said. “They were very careful with keeping some of the things exactly the way they were.”
But some things had to change. They ripped out the vinyl floors and replaced them with ceramic tile laid in eye-catching patterns. They transformed two of the bedrooms into a sitting room and a den. They took down the wood paneling from the walls.
“I’ve always felt that all of these houses, or any house, always has another stage of growth,” Gould said. “The challenge is to allow it to grow up gracefully. . . . My goal was to make it as seamless as possible, so that one can’t figure out where the old ended and the new starts. All they know is that it’s grown up now.”
The secluded, three-quarters of an acre property has its own dock on Maryland’s largest freshwater lake. The four-bedroom, three-bathroom, 2,840-square-foot house is on the market for $1.65 million.
Listing agent: Sarah Kanne, TTR Sotheby’s International Realty
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