From an artist studio or gallery to restoring and preserving a notable historic building, Rippeteau Architects is experienced in enhancing historic and cultural buildings and spaces. 


Le Gaulois

Slide the arrows left & right to see the before and after images.

Through facade restoration and reconstruction of the structural framework, Rippeteau Architects, P.C. transformed the derelict shell of a 19th-century building into a flourishing, first-class restaurant.

The garden terrace, designed by Rippeteau Architects in collaboration with Lila Fendrick, sets off Le Gaulois like an authentic French country inn.

Phyllis Richman of The Washington Post reported:
“Looks like what we always wanted…a restaurant as attractive and pleasant as its food.”


Slide the arrows left & right to see the before and after images.

In January 2001, fire destroyed much of the four-story Algerian Chancery located at 2118 Kalorama Road NW.  The fire caused the roof structure and attic to collapse into the building, taking down the majority of the fourth, third and second floors.  The Chancery building is located in the Kalorama Historic District.

Reconstruction of the Chancery Building includes timber framing with a full automatic sprinkler system with current code compliance features.  Two fire stairs, an elevator for access to each floor, heating, ventilating, air conditioning, plumbing and electrical systems, as well as life safety features required by code.

Historic preservation was required for the reconstruction project.  Rippeteau Architects surveyed the charred wreckage in the burned-out building to locate and analyze original construction materials and details to achieve a true replica.


Foundry Church

To serve an active urban congregation, Rippeteau Architects, P.C. made substantial alterations to the historic sanctuary in the 1904 Foundry Church. Work included increasing the chancel activity space to twice its former size and accommodating a new Casavantes Freres wind organ and enlarged choir. The final plan reflects Rippeteau’s theory that places of worship should be places of gathering around sacraments. The project won the AIA/DC Award for Achievement of Excellence in Historic Preservation and Architecture.



 An elevation drawing of the building preservation.

An elevation drawing of the building preservation.

Working with the Anacostia Economic Development Corporation, Rippeteau Architects designed and specified a step-by-step process to peel away vinyl siding, ill-fitting modern windows and miscellaneous lumber patches to expose the remnants of the original "Anacostia" building a the corner of Martin Luther King, Jr. Avenue and Good Hope Road SE in Washington, DC. The firm then designed and specified a series of restoration and construction activities for recovery of the original design, including an exact replica of the original, unmistakable design.

Brece Studio

Applying the “sow’s ear/ silk purse” philosophy of architectural design to the uninspired existing enclosed porch of a home in Foxhall Village, we removed everything that was unattractive and replaced it with spacious windows, copper cladding, and easy-care exterior finishes.  The second floor was cut away to create an overlooking study and the ground floor became a studio for the owner, a popular Washington artist. Featured in Residential Architect, see the article here


Chinese Community Church of Washington, DC

Featured Project: Click the image to see the Project Page.

 Featured Project: Chinese Community Church, click the image to see the project page.

Featured Project: Chinese Community Church, click the image to see the project page.



Gallery plan b

When Gallery “plan b” holds an opening with new art on the walls, guests overflow onto 14th Street, mingling in the evening air with neighborhood families, visitors, tourists, and theater-goers. The place is minimal and minimalist, with a cloud of adjustable lights. Like central Washington DC, it is a phenomenal affirmation of the return to urbanism by Americans of all ages. The New York Times calledGallery plan b a “capital gain,” in “a corridor of creativity.”

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