A Nature-Shrouded Entry by Shinberg-Levinas

Memories of lazy summer days always seem to be gauzy and beautiful, with soft focus given to the intense green of the outdoors. With that in mind, I’m jealous of the owners of this ranch house in Bethesda, who called on the gifted architects at Shinberg-Levinas in DC to create a natural screen that would bring the landscape up and over their home.

I mean, it looks like it came out of a dream, doesn’t it?


Architect Salo Levinas didn’t do anything to the house itself, which you can see in this before picture:


Can you even imagine that this is the same piece of property? I can’t. I really can’t. The only hint is that you can spy the stone wall on the left, and a bit of the roof, in this straight-on angle:


According to the project description:

The design concept was to create a screen, drawing the landscape up over the existing house, and extending a transparent bridge to the existing entry. The screen with vines creates a buffer between the home’s façade and street traffic. The glass connector pierces the screen and acts as a portal to the existing house.


As you can see in this photo above, according to the description again,

The green screen cantilevers slightly over the retaining wall as the landscape slopes away towards the back of the existing home, allowing for a moment of sculptural gesture while creating a buffer from the street traffic.

Ok. Take a moment and scroll back up to the before picture again. Talk about completely transforming your house without actually doing anything to the house itself! We put a front porch on our own house last year (see it here), so I know how a great entry can enhance its look and feel, but in this case, the great entry BECOMES the whole look and feel, almost entirely obscuring the original house.

So as the summertime wanes, this is a great image to sign off on—and come back to when you’re dreaming of its return.



  1. Not sure about this. The first photo looks amazing, but I think it’s just the angle or the lighting or something. Not crazy about the execution. Cool idea, though!


  2. this is amazing; thank you for finding and sharing such wonderful creativity! as one who spends way too much time in my office/ in front of my computer– I love getting your blog posts and being introduced to the wide wealth of talent we have here in DC (and beyond). I’d love to know what that vine is and how long its been growing to achieve that amazing coverage…and how much attention it needs. thank you Jennifer!

  3. Very strange indeed! How about curb appeal? What is the view from the windows facing the street now? I am thinking of this word; obnoxious.