Valspar Coats Residential Home in Takoma Park Using Artist Richard Diebenkorn as Inspiration

Whether it’s in our daily commute to work, or a return home after an extended absence, the mundane details of a location are often shattered when a striking new building or business opens its doors. That very experience recently transpired in the verdant hills of Takoma Park, where a home purchased by builder Alan Kanner underwent a dramatic, full-scale remodel.

“It wasn’t much to look at before we started the renovation,” said Kanner, co-founder and principal of Added Dimensions Construction. “We wanted a house that was unique and playful, and that’s something we truly achieved once construction was complete.”

With decades of experience building homes, Kanner brought his own ideas and connections to the table. In order to construct a house that perfectly suited his lifestyle and aesthetic, Kanner relied on the expertise of a frequent colleague, Mark McInturff, FAIA, of McInturff Architects. Kanner crafted a complete renovation and second story addition, adding approximately 900 square-feet of extra living space. And Mark delivered.

Overall, the renovation added three bedrooms and two bathrooms to the new second floor, while the original main level and basement were transitioned into the primary living, dining and entertaining spaces. Conjoining the old and the new is a stunning staircase that was designed by McInturff Architects, Steve Prudhomme of Metal Specialties and Kanner. While the interior additions are jaw dropping, it is the exterior of Kanner’s residence that truly sets the project apart.

“I wanted to do something completely different for the exterior,” said Kanner. “We decided to go with a coated metal material due to the unique aesthetic and versatility it provides.”

To clad the exterior of the house, Kanner utilized 0.032-inch aluminum Opaline metal panels from ATAS International, Inc., which were coated in Valspar’s Fluropon® in Black. To further accentuate the unique design of the house, McInturff Architects recommended installing the corrugated metal in both vertical and horizontal orientations. At first, Kanner worried the design option would be too bold of a choice. Kanner queried several building professional friends and they agreed that it seemed to be a mistake. But McInturff was persistent and Kanner, thankfully, agreed to trust his judgment.

“We’ve done a lot of houses with coated metal siding because it’s as close to maintenance-free as you can get, and has a phenomenal finished look,” said Mark McInturff, FAIA, owner of McInturff Architects. “The exterior of Kanner’s home almost looks like a black pair of corduroy pants, but with the stripes going both ways. It’s proven to be one of the more unique features of the home, and completely identifies the exterior.”

The duality of the metal panels provides a magnetic visual for the modern home, and is further emphasized by the vibrant pigments of Valspar’s Fluropon coating in Black. Although a defining component of the exterior aesthetic, the black metal was also selected to function as a backdrop for a palette of accent colors selected by McInturff to reflect the paintings in artist Richard Diebenkorn’s Ocean Park Series. 

“The black coating Valspar supplied does amazing things with the lighting, and provides a perfect slate for the other colors to pop,” said McInturff. “I’ve found that referencing an artist or a painting for inspiration can be great way to gain individuality for a building, while simultaneously keeping your own tastes and preferences fresh.”

Highlighting several areas of the home, including the windows, balcony and awning, various shades of blue, red, yellow and teal bring the full flavor of the home to life. Now several years old, the exterior metal panels continue to draw the eyes of neighbors and visitors. Not only does the coating offer the perfect canvas for the Diebenkorn-influenced colors to stand out, it also provides exceptional durability features, including leading protection against dirt and stains, and resistance to chalking and fading.

With the bold metal exterior and renovation complete, the Kanner residence stands as a 2,600 square-foot paradigm of modern design and construction. Between the monthly concerts he hosts at the home, and the many duties he fulfills at Added Dimension, Kanner hasn’t had much time to spend maintaining the exterior of his house, and he hasn’t had to.

“The finished product looks absolutely great and has held up incredibly well,” said Kanner. “I haven’t noticed any faults or fading in the coating, and it looks just as vibrant as the day the metal panels were installed.”

If you ever find yourself in Kanner’s neck of the woods, you’ll be sure to find your eyes slowly drawn to a colorful, boxy home nestled between the leafy foliage in Takoma Park. And if you’ve been there before, you’ll find it hard to remember the inconspicuous building that used to reside there.


Project Overview:

Project: Kanner Residence; Takoma Park, MD

Completion date:          2013

General contractor: Added Dimension; Takoma Park, MD http://addeddimensionsinc.com/

Coatings provider: The Valspar Corporation; Minneapolis, MN  http://www.valsparcoilextrusion.com/     

Architect: McInturff Architects; Bethesda, MD http://www.mcinturffarchitects.com/

Metal panel manufacturer:   ATAS International Inc.; Allentown, PA http://www.atas.com/