Kozo: An 8-Condo Salute To Japanese Minimalism

Washington Post by Audrey Hoffer | June 23rd, 2020

Kozo is an eight-unit condominium building on Chapin Street NW, a half-block from Meridian Hill Park in the District’s Columbia Heights neighborhood. Viewed from the sidewalk, the building has an aura of Japanese minimalism. The design is simple, clean and uncluttered, said Patrick Bloomfield, principal of P.T. Blooms Development, the builder. “Kozo means ‘structure’ in Japanese,” Bloomfield said. “Structure is what we all look for in life, whether it’s the clean lines of the building we chose to live in or the structure we build into our lives through habits of a comfortable environment.”

The building has three units with one bedroom and one bathroom, four with two-bedrooms and two bathrooms and one with three bedrooms and three bathrooms. The three-bedroom unit and one two-bedroom unit are two-level penthouses. The units occupy space on four floors entirely above ground and a lower level. Four units have been sold. The remaining four are priced from $785,900 to $1.235 million. Move-ins are expected to begin by late July. Kozo’s main entrance has a steel statue of a bonsai tree by Atlanta artist Camilo Lopez, who said it “ties together a familiar aspect of Japanese culture, the bonsai tree,” with the structure.

“The purple clematis vines we planted in the four corners of the statue’s base will grow upward and weave in and out of the bonsai’s branches,” Lopez said. “This intertwining will represent the integration of our natural and built environments.”

‘Pretty at night’: A pattern of alternating squares on the facade — recessed for windows, protruding for balconies — embellishes the building’s exterior. “The black metal extrusions [balconies] against the white brick facade create a clean modern look and act as a playful addition to the streetscape,” said Emily Hirst, an architect with Kuhn Architects, the firm that designed the building.

Embedded in the balconies’ perimeters are ribbons of LED lights that can be custom-colored by residents and accentuate the building’s exterior at night.

“It’s minimal but highly impactful and pretty at night,” said Jennie Mann, a vice president at McWilliams Ballard, which is handling sales. “You can set the light colors red, white and blue for July Fourth or as a rainbow collage for Pride month. You can put in red so Uber can find you.”

The balconies are walled with glass. “We made the outdoors an extension of the living space,” Hirst said. “Glass blurs the physical barrier between the man-made and nature.”

The entrance to furnished unit 7, the two-bedroom penthouse, opens to a hallway that leads to the kitchen and an adjoining living area. A bedroom and bathroom are on one side of the living area; the balcony is on the other.

A kitchen island with center sink is between the kitchen appliances and the living area, which is flooded with natural light through the balcony’s glass wall.

Stairs lead up to a large room that can be configured as a den, a loft, or a media or play room. Another glass-walled balcony faces the street, and there is a private rooftop terrace outside the unit’s back wall. The master bedroom, with en suite bathroom and walk-in closet, adjoins the den/loft space.

Nearby: Meridian Hill Park, a 12-acre National Park Service property, has tall oaks, landscaped lawns, the largest cascading fountain in North America, and statues of Joan of Arc, Dante and President James Buchanan. Kozo is between 14th and 16th streets, and stores, restaurants, bars and service businesses line both streets.

Schools: Marie Reed Elementary, Columbia Heights Education Campus, Cardozo Education Campus.

Transit: Columbia Heights, on the Green and Yellow lines, is the closest Metro station. Fourteenth and 16th streets NW are both major traffic corridors with regular bus service. Some neighboring streets are designated for resident-only parking; others have two-hour nonresident parking.

Kozo

1434 Chapin St. NW, Washington, DC

This building has eight condominium units, four of which have been sold. The remaining units are priced from $785,900 to $1.235 million.

Builder: P.T. Blooms Development

Features: Ceilings are 11 feet high in the four units still available for purchase. Floors are seven-inch white oak plank. The building has video-call and keyless entry systems for security. Kitchens have GE Café or Thermador appliances, lacquered flat-panel custom cabinets, spring-loaded push latches on the cabinets and drawers, white quartz counters, under-cabinet lighting, concealed outlets and a Vigo under-mount stainless-steel sink. The bathrooms have 24-by-24-inch Porcelanosa wall and floor tiles, quartz vanity counters, a Kohler elongated toilet, a Mirabelle deep soaking tub and a frameless glass shower enclosure. All units have some outdoor space. Outdoor spaces include balconies, patios and private roof decks.

Bedrooms/bathrooms: 1 to 3/1 to 3

Square-footage: 583 to 1,550

Condo association fees: $214 to $380

See model: By appointment only.

Contact: Robert Cook at 202-792-0047 or LiveKozo.com.