2022 GFD 🏆 Awards

Gold Winner | Balsam House | Gol Homes Development

Balsam House finds itself embedded into a neighborhood that embodies traditional design principles, such that each program is defined by walls separating them. This encourages less natural light to reach each space, affecting the well-being of the residents. This project became an opportunity to enhance the resident’s comfort by creating open and connected spaces that have uninterrupted visual connections. Balsam House embodies traditional design aesthetics with modernist design principles that also respect its community’s history.

Global Future Design Awards 2023: Entries Open! 

Gold 🏆 Winner
Global Future Design Awards 2022

Balsam House
Private Residential (Built)

Gol Homes Development

Sajed Golafshani

Design Team
Sajed Golafshani, Abbas Sepassi, and Maria Boltes

McLean, VA

United States

©John Cole

The transition from the private realm to the outside world is an important component in the design to provide a healthy indoor environmental quality. Balsam House summons natural light and greenery thru its layout which is arranged around the double-height space, the great room, interconnecting each functional space vertically and horizontally for a continuous, seamless, and uninterrupted experience. The main living spaces of the house offer large,

north-facing picture windows for maximum indirect light to warm and illuminate the home while providing views of the greenery. The kitchen, dining, and living areas harmoniously sit side by side. The living room is placed beside the great room allowing them to be accessible and private via a see-through fireplace.  On the second floor, the library finds peace alone and embraces the abundance of natural light that highlights the home’s spatial qualities thru the framed views. These open but private spaces create moments of separation whilst being together. The front-facing bedrooms’ cathedral ceilings add spatial perception while also bathing the spaces in natural light. By utilizing the slope of the site, the lower-level floor seamlessly transitions from the bar lounge to the outdoor patio.

The street façade impressively ties in the different use of materials and textures with tall windows, a green roof, and a monochromatic color scheme. To encourage a fluid translation between traditional and modern design, Balsam House uses brick, stucco, metal roofing, and PVC. The green roof provides shade, removes heat from the air, and cools the home and the surrounding air. A bioretention planter placed towards the back of the house is used to capture, treat, and manage stormwater runoff down the site. The north and south openings passively ventilate and cool the building to maintain a healthy and comfortable environment. Furthermore, the south side of the building was designed with a minimal number of window openings and overhangs to reduce the amount of direct solar heat gain for an all-around comfortable experience.