Simon Jacobsen's Refreshing Georgetown Renovation

Simon Jacobsen's Refreshing Georgetown Renovation

Leah Moss
Aug 12, 2009

The September issue of Architectural Digest gave us a glimpse of Simon Jacobsen's Georgetown home, and left us hungering for more views of the unusual merging of modern and historic that define the renovation. We've long admired the comfortable minimalism and breathtaking modern structures created by Simon and his father, the renowned Hugh Newell Jacobsen. You can only imagine our excitement when we discovered more pictures and a floorplan (!) of Simon's serenely spare private home that's so perfectly reflective of his clean aesthetic...

According to the Jacobsen Architecture website, the renovation involved re-merging two civil-war era Georgetown row houses that are believed to have been originally designed as a single home. During the building process the houses were divided into two identical — but mirror-image— residences to make them more appealing to potential post-war buyers.

Despite the original unity of the two homes, their renovation reunion does not sound like an easy one, especially since the two sister homes had undergone quite different upbringings. While attempting to preserve the historical integrity of the structures, Simon also had to decide how to integrate a clumsy 80s addition on one of the houses and create a master layout suited to his modern sensibilities. The Architectural Digest article explains that the original floors in one of the homes had been refinished one too many times, and as a result they were incompatible with the floors in the sister unit. Rather than replace them altogether, Jacobsen solved the problem by covering the entire floor surfaces in both units with brilliant white floor paint. Aside from unifying the homes, the white floors give the historic space a clean modern feel in keeping with the overall airy minimalism resonating throughout the home.

Adding to the dream is the enviable 4,000 square feet of living space — in Georgetown!— resulting from the brilliant renovation.

Sources: Jacobsen Architecture , September 2009 issue of Architectural Digest

(Images: Jacobsen Architecture)

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