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Potomac Firm Wins Design Award

The National Association of the Remodeling Industry named Hopkins & Porter Construction, of Potomac, Contractor of the Year in the category of Additions $100,000 and Under. Kai Tong, architect at Hopkins & Porter and designer of the winning project, collected the award at the NARI Evening of Excellence on March 18 at the Cathedral Hill Hotel in San Francisco. The Hopkins & Porter project previously won a Creative Design award in both in the Washington, D.C. Metropolitan NARI Chapter annual awards and also in the NARI regional awards.

The project, a screened porch for a homeowner in Glen Echo, is an elegant and artistic solution to a variety of challenges that the existing house posed. The architectural design team of Hopkins and Porter Construction, Inc. of Kai Tong AIA with associate Lea Allen saw an opportunity to pick up the planar rhythms of the existing house and open up the house architecturally to the yard's vistas, as well as to an adjacent koi pond. Hence the soaring roof planes, which create a very tall exterior wall facing the yard, while allowing effortless rain runoff down the roof slopes and eventually to chains carrying the runoff to a streambed of river rock. The construction, both interior and exterior, is deliberately minimal, with unwrapped clear fir columns, and unencumbered slatted ceiling and decked floor planes. The only added object is a single ceiling fan/light, supported by very understated accent lights on the columns. A single round table and a futon are the only furnishings anticipated. In plan, the porch's plan is expressed as a single uninterrupted arc.

In the end, the homeowners felt that Hopkins and Porter, using figurative rather than literal devices, had succeeded in creating a succinct bit of "zen" for their home. Hopkins & Porter has worked in Washington, D.C. and Montgomery County for 28 years. The panel of judges for the national Contractor of the Year awards are experts within the industry and select winners based on problem solving, functionality, aesthetics, craftsmanship, innovation, degree of difficulty, and entry presentation.