U Street Studios 

A metal box perched on top of a painted CMU base provides loft space for a community development group in Northwest Washington DC. The rear elevation combines sunscreens, translucent panels, and operable windows to provide plenty of daylight to the interior while controlling glare and heat gain. Windows on the side are composed to give a lively face to the alley. Corrugated metal is installed over stud framing for a simple, durable exterior. Inside, open metal stairs and exposed laminated wood joists contribute to the loft-like feeling.

This aesthetic celebrates resource efficiency by minimizing additional finishes like ceilings and carpet and reduces the use of wood. The building was designed to take advantage of natural air flows for energy efficient heating, cooling, and ventilation. Eco-friendly finishes include certified wood, linoleum floors, and low-VOC paints and sealers.

By Rick Schneider with Inscape Studio