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The oh-so-icy interior. (via Archinnovations)

The American Institute of Architects has announced its 2011 Housing Awards, going to 18 different projects around the country. Only one was chosen in the District, and it’s a building you might walk past every day and not notice: The residential second and third floor of Chinatown Coffee, at 475 H Street NW.

That gut renovation is known as the Town House, designed by Robert M. Gurney. It’s stunningly modern (for D.C. at least) and all-white inside, with light flooding in from the back facade. Max BrownAnthony Williams‘ chief financial officer, now heading up a P.R. firm that counts among its clients Douglas Development—bought the building back in 2006 for $2,158,000. This time last year the residential portion was listed for just shy of $2.5 million, but Brown says he and his wife Katharine took it off the market because many interested buyers couldn’t get financing.

So if you want to buy this year’s best piece of residential architecture, make them an offer…