If you happen to love history as much as design, get ready to hear the story of one building’s transformation from a house of law into a house of luxury.
Picture this. The year is 1925, The Great Gatsby has just disrupted the realm of literature, and two famous architects- Whitney Warren and Charles Wetmore- have managed to create a second piece of astounding infrastructure: The Italian Embassy in Washington, D.C. The Embassy was a stunning Neo-renaissance building that served as a liaison for Italian citizens for more than fifty years, up until 1977. During this time, the Embassy was not only a place for government matters; it was a home for grand artwork and sculptures featuring prominent Italian artists, and a venue for parties and wedding ceremonies of royalty. If its walls could talk, it would likely whisper stories of opulence, drama, and celebration.
After 1977, the Embassy continued to serve as the Chancery for an additional 25 years. Then, in 2002, the doors of the once-thriving Embassy were shut, its hallways went silent, and the property sat unoccupied for over a decade. Fast forward to 2018 and the building that was once a staple of the Italian government is alive once more. Its rebirth comes in the form of luxury apartments featuring 134 residences perched on renowned 16th Street. Welcome to the “Renaissance of City Living”. Welcome to the Modera Sedici.
In the process of restoring the Embassy and reusing its building to house the next generation of life, historians and architects were consulted in order to ensure that its original design would not be forgotten. Both the amenity spaces and apartment units speak to the Embassy’s Italian nature, which required personal touches and a thoughtful design that was executed by none other than SR/A Interior Design.
SR/A was able to capture the building’s former glory by using furnishings and color-schemes that highlighted the building’s history while incorporating contemporary Italian design elements. The end result? A European cosmopolitan aesthetic that has reinvented D.C. apartment living and elevated the standard of design. We are proud to have played a role in the momentous feat in which history was preserved and glory was restored.