January 21, 2011 David Baker, DC

Price Drop: 1952 ‘Solar-Space House’ – $895K; Open 1/30

This cantilevered mid-century modern I wrote about earlier just dropped $90K. May want to take another look. Tucked into Rock Creek Park just inside the D.C. line, the 1952 house was designed by D.C.-based architect David Baker, who studied with Mies van der Rohe and Walter Gropius. Baker, who passed away in 1985, designed the house as his personal residence and copyrighted the the design of his so-called “Solar-Space House.”

The house, with walls of windows, was built in an an unusual way. According to a Nov. 1, 1952, article in the Washington Daily News entitled, “The Roof Doesn’t Rest on the House; the House hangs from the Roof,” Baker used a steel beam framework to “hang” the house. He first constructed the roof, then the floors and then the walls and then the bottom level. No wall carries any weight except its own so they could be easily moved as the family’s needs changed.

The open dining living room area with floating stairs up to the addition.

The current owners, who bought the house in 1999, did extensive work on the house, including adding the third-floor master suite with a shed-style roof. The work was done by architect Richard Zambito. (Just to note, Baker is said to have designed the other mid-century modern homes next to this one in the cul-de-sac.)

The master bedroom addition.

In the kitchen, you can see part of the steel frame Baker used to construct the house.

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