“When we entered the unit, it was original,” Fortuño said. “It was the original design with the original finishes. … Obviously, there was a lot of work to be done. But we seized the opportunity, since here at Watergate the [spaces] between columns are quite large compared to new buildings, it gave us the opportunity to knock down some walls and open up this space.”
Watergate East is a 14-story, 240-unit historic cooperative building that was designed by Italian architect Luigi Moretti, who envisioned a village within a city. Completed in 1965, it was the first of six Watergate buildings to be built and the largest of the three residential buildings. The complex was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2005. Fountains separate the north and south concourses. Steps lead down to an outdoor esplanade or to extensive gardens and lawns.
Fortuño’s main focus in the unit was how the spaces were distributed.
“We took a lot of ideas from the famous architect [Ludwig] Mies van der Rohe,” Fortuño said. “Less is more. … We try to do less because I think that opens up the space for interpretation.”
Because they like to entertain, the owners wanted a house that could hold large gatherings. During the pandemic, that was less of a priority. But the breadth of the cooperative came in handy in another way when their adult children returned. For several months, five adults lived there without feeling cramped, the owners said.
Fortuño opened up the kitchen to the family room, bringing natural light into the space. The peninsula, which stretches about 10 feet and is topped by white granite with a waterfall edge, seats five comfortably. Many mornings the family would gather there for breakfast. Downsview’s high gloss lacquer cabinetry was imported from Canada.
Although the new large double-pane windows provide plenty of natural light during the day, Fortuño created recessed ceiling lighting with warm LED lights that wrap around different areas of the apartment to add direct and indirect light where needed.
Another clever use of lighting came in the powder room. Fortuño took a piece of alabaster for the dressing table and lit it from behind to give it a warm glow.
The fireplace surround is a work of art. Fantasy Brown marble is paired, which means that the two adjoining surfaces mirror each other. The effect gives the impression of flames jumping up the wall.
The installation of the fireplace was another benefit for the owners. It allowed them to connect a gas line to their private roof deck for a gas grill. His cooperative is one of the few in Watergate with a terrace on top of the building. The 1,347-square-foot roof deck is reached by going up two flights of stairs outside the apartment.
In addition to the rooftop terrace, the apartment has an 85-foot wraparound balcony with views of Crystal City and Reagan National Airport, both in Arlington, Virginia, and the Kennedy Center, Lincoln Memorial, Washington Monument, and the Washington National Cathedral. , all in DC The owners said the 4th of July fireworks are spectacular seen from the co-op and roof deck.
The owners said that they have enjoyed living at Watergate and really appreciate the sense of community in the complex. But now that their children have moved out, the owners said they want to downsize the house to a smaller one.
The three-bedroom, four-bathroom, 3,340-square-foot co-op with one garage parking space is listed at $2.4 million. The monthly cooperative fee of $6,028 includes property taxes, utilities, internet/cable, 24-hour front desk service, doorman service, and access to a heated outdoor pool and fitness center.
2500 Virginia Ave. NW, No. 1205-S, Washington, DC
Approximate square footage: 3,340
Cooperative fee: $6,028 per month
Characteristics: The renovated coop is one of the few in the Watergate complex with a private rooftop. In addition to the roof terrace, the apartment has an 85-foot wrap-around balcony with views. It has wide plank oak flooring, warm LED ceiling lighting, a gas fireplace and a laundry room with a full size washer and dryer. The unit comes with a parking space in the garage.