Restoring a Glass Pleasure Dome into a Glorious New Attraction

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“Glass Pleasure Dome” is a renovation project completed by Barnes Vanze Architects in Bethesda, Maryland, USA.

Description by Barnes Vanze Architects: We had already worked with our clients for 15 years, slowly upgrading and renovating their property in Bethesda’s Somerset neighborhood. But the final task was to repair the most glaring problem: A tired-looking pool inside a leaky, mold-infested glass structure. The owners initially wanted to tear it all down and start over, but we found a way to renovate and recycle what was already there, turning this eyesore into the ultimate party pad.

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We started by filling in the old pool and building a new one outside, leaving the interior of the structure open for a lounging area, fireplace and hot tub. A new steel gable frames the entry across from the fireplace, which is flanked with paneled walls. We also paneled the rear portion of the roof to provide shade and add character.

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We repaired the rest of the steel structure, cleaned the glass roof, and added new lighting that complements the industrial feel. At night, this pleasure dome sparkles like a jewel when viewed from the main house across the pool deck. Glass door panels sweep open toward the deck, and screening can be rolled down in their place to admit the fresh air.

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Designer Andrew Law assisted the owners with furniture selection, while we added heated flooring to provide warmth on crisp evenings. This formerly dilapidated enclosure is now the family’s favorite destination for poolside gatherings and parties—at any time of year.

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