Modern & Contemporary Condominiums in the Washington Metro Area

Modern, Contemporary and Mid-Century Modern Condominiums are all the rage in the historic Washington Metropolitan region. Does this seem like a contradiction in terms? Not necessarily, when you consider the population growth as well as the development of many urban areas.

It is also due to the very fabric and structure of commercial buildings in high density areas. Just picture for a moment, the essence of a tall office or residential tower. These buildings by their very nature have a certain look to them. And, the early modernist movement featured certain “form follows function” tents that went hand-in-hand with commercial construction—the idea that the shape of a building should comport to its intended purpose.

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The new design principles were also a rebellion of sorts to earlier and more ornate architecture from the 1800s, such as Victorian and Gothic. The times were changing and cleaner shapes and lines were emerging. Even the Art Deco movement with its appealing details offered an overall form that was deceptively simple. Interestingly, many of these old structures ultimately converted to condos for sale, in DC, Northern Virginia and Maryland.

But what does all of this have to do with today’s millennial buyers, and with glass and steel lofts, townhouses and high-rises with their giant window walls, open floor plans and chef-grade stainless steel kitchens?

The answer is that Modern and Contemporary condominiums didn’t happen overnight. It’s all part of a continuing timeline, in the same way that trendy urban corridors also have a history. The hot new restaurants and hipster restaurants may not have existed way back then. But the neighborhoods sure did.

The 1940s and the post-World War II era brought a continued trend toward minimalist designs—cubist boxy shapes with little ornamentation. That gave way to the International-style, an architectural movement that had begun overseas decades earlier, but rapidly gained favor in Washington Metro from the 1950s to 1970s. Overall, the various movements of this era tend to get lumped in together as mid-century modern design.

You can find these structures throughout DC, Alexandria, Arlington, Fairfax and other areas, sporting clean linear lines and balconies placed side-by-side, creating a pattern. This was the time of rapid expansion in the area and luxury condos and cooperatives were skyrocketing in popularity. Add shag carpets, a swimming pool and the ubiquitous party room and let the revelry begin!

But now there’s a new era in upscale living. And it borrows from the past while adding some truly striking twists. Drive along the U Street Corridor in DC for instance, or along Wilson Boulevard from Rosslyn to Ballston in Arlington, Virginia, and you’ll see construction cranes, innovative designs and scads of new condos for sale.

And it’s not just there, either. You’ll find cutting edge developments throughout the Metro area, including DC’s West End, Georgetown, Capitol Hill, Penn Quarter, Arlington’s Clarendon-Courthouse, Maryland’s Bethesda and Chevy Chase, and even historic Old Town Alexandria.

In fact, Alexandria has become a real estate leader when it comes to marrying old with new. A perfect case in point is the Oronoco with 60 luxury flats at the river’s edge in Old Town. Architectural firm Shalom Barones repurposed a former office building into a collection of stacked million dollar condos for sale with exotic hardwood floors, giant window walls, soaring ceilings and European-style kitchens set into a single wall.

Other hot firms associated with Modern and Contemporary design concepts for condominiums in Washington Metro include Gensler, EYP, Hickok Cole, WDG Architecture, KUBE, Studio Architecture, and R. McGhee & Associates just to name a few.

How much do these trendy properties for sale cost the average buyer? It’s not necessarily the exterior style of a building that dictates cost, but location, demand, size and amenities. But whether your budget falls in the low six figure range or soars into the millions, there are a surprising number of great opportunities available.

So make a list of things that matter most, including interior features, neighborhood, proximity to Metro stations, bars and restaurants, grocery stores, dog parks or whatever else floats your boat. Then, set your price range and start searching! The odds are good that you can find a Modern or Contemporary condo or townhouse to call your home. 

The listing content relating to real estate for sale on this web site is courtesy of MRIS. Listing information comes from various brokers who participate in the MRIS IDX.Properties listed with brokerage firms other than Compass are marked with the MRIS Logo and detailed information about them includes the name of the listing brokers.The properties displayed may not be all the properties available. All information provided is deemed reliable but is not guaranteed and should be independently verified.All listing information copyright MRIS 2019.

Listing information last updated on June 20th, 2019 at 3:03am EDT.