Interior Design: Christian Zapatka on Modern Restorations

The Exterior of a Home Design by Christian Zapatka.

The Exterior of a Home Design by .

Christian Zapatka, for those of you who haven’t joined the fan club yet, is one of the Nation’s most acclaimed architects. A graduate of Princeton’s School of Architecture, arguably the most highly selective architecture program in the country, Christian developed his masterful design process under architecture and design luminaries such as , , and the legendary . As if his scholastic pedigree wasn’t enough to cement his spot in the AIA hall of fame, Christian has also been awarded the Norton Prize for excellence in design and the coveted Rome Prize in Architecture.

During the lecture, Christian told his own story, speaking candidly about his time in Italy and about his work with master of design, Michael Graves. Unlike the cold technical speak often associated with the modern architect; Christian gave the impression that he had personally studied each home in DC. He knew the local history, knew how it fit with the city’s classic architecture, and has plainly used that information to inform the design of his buildings.  And none of this seems to overwhelm his own unique vision, as it easily could.  Instead, Christian’s design model seems crafted to “embrace those qualities worth maintaining” without hitting the “overly sentimental” mark.  I’m, for instance, a fan of his method for re-imagining natural light in historic spaces, eschewing the typical addition of rows of ill-suited new windows for subtler effects like widening doorways and reconnecting broken sightlines.

Of course, any lecture has the potential to veer too deeply into detail, with all but the most ardent aficionados of the topic snoring through the second half of the presentation.  If the first of the TTR Sotheby’s International Realty salons is any indication, however, these programs will be accessible to just about everyone and could actually be quite useful, not only to design professionals, but for anyone interested in design or considering a makeover for his or her abode.  Christian’s talk, for instance, was perfectly suited to the Georgetown set with his emphasis on seamless integration of the historic and the contemporary.

TTR Sotheby’s International Realty is doing the District a true service by bringing the design community to the general public with this new series.  The program offers depth, insight, and a dash of vision.  And I, for one, was thrilled to look into the history of our community and a bit of our future.

Architect Christian Zapatka in his Georgetown Office

Architect Christian Zapatka in his Georgetown Office

A Historic Home Updated by Christian Zapatka

A Historic Home Updated by Christian Zapatka

Spiral Staircase Updated by Christian Zapatka to Allow for Greater Light Penetration

Spiral Staircase Updated by Christian Zapatka to Allow for Greater Light Penetration

Example of a Modern Kitchen, Designed by Christian Zapatka, in a Historic Home.

Example of a Modern Kitchen, Designed by Christian Zapatka, in a Historic Home.

An Example of How Christian Uses Room Openings to Increase Natural Light Penetration

An Example of How Christian Uses Room Openings to Increase Natural Light Penetration

Pages: 1 2

You may also like...

3 Responses

  1. john says:

    awesome photos! who took these?

  2. Is there, in fact, a Spa Retreat in Washington, D.C. designed by your firm that I can visit and enjoy. I get no results from a web search for the spa.

    Thank you.

    Marsha

  3. Mr. Zapatka’s wealth of knowledge on the subject is vast. I hope I have an opportunity to hear him in the near future.

    Garrett McCarthy
    Artist/Muralist

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.