Norfolk, Virginia


2,951 SF

Completion Date

December 2014


This residential project completes the skyline on the last vacant buildable lot on the Hague waterway in Historic Ghent. The house was designed to blend with the 19th-century neighborhood, while asserting itself as a modern home. The narrow and telescoping plan is organized around a central circular stair and pneumatic elevator. Radiant floor heating, wrought ironwork, a tornado shelter, and custom aluminum mechanical well screens are some of the unique design features of the home. WPA worked closely with the owners and the masons to design brick bond patterning, smooth and rock-faced limestone headers, sills, and string courses in keeping with the Richardsonian Romanesque precedent. The project presented many challenges, including working to achieve approvals from the Ghent Neighborhood League, the Design Review Committee, the Planning Commission and the City of Norfolk; complying with height restrictions and new FEMA floodplain ordinances in the most flood-prone neighborhood of the city; and complying with lot coverage percentages on this tapered 19-foot wide lot.