Judging Pop-ups and other buildings


Thanks to a reader for the tip on this new pop up located on the 1300 block of Oak Street, NW. It’s hard to tell in it’s current state but do you think this’ll be a good one? I kinda like the fact that’s it’s going to have a double bay window. You?

After the jump check out a pop up that I’ve shown a number of times that has finally been completed. It’s the one that has a super sweet glass fire escape.


This is from New Hampshire Ave. and Otis I believe. This construction has really grown on me. You?

12 Comment

  • looks cheap.

  • the first pic looks like the makings of a good renovation. the bottom pic.. said it before. it would be ok if they just PAINTED THE POP UP. seriously. doesnt it occur to them that it looks retarded with the bottom painted and the top just hangin out up there all raw. Paint the top the same color. add a nice roof cap too. and it would look like a nice little building.

  • I live right by this building and am constantly confused by the contrast. It just looks so goofy! I like brick, and I like the painted bits — but together?? Together they look like some sort of frightening building-chimera monster thing.


  • Vonstallin

    The first picture looks like something hot is coming…please keep us posted with the progress.

    If they eliminate the floor between the 2nd floor and pop up of the double bay window section they could put a stripper pole from top to bottom and have all kinds of fun.

    I like the second building. Its odd, but no odder than some of these other old and new building Mash-ups i’ve seen.

    But like 4:15pm said, it could use a roof cap…its just so naked. Even a gutter would give it some Pazzaz.

  • That 2nd one makes no sense. It doesn’t look like it was cheaply done at all, I mean, brick is expensive! So you are dropping the cash but:

    1) Don’t use the same size windows on the 3rd level

    2) Have rather fancy and expensive looking headers above the windows, that ARE NOT AT ALL like the original construction

    3) Don’t bother mimicing the corner stones

    WTF? With just a few minor details done differently this could have been a great one. Instead it looks pretty ridiculous.

  • For the first one, do the bay windows not count towards the total allotment you’re allowed to build on your property?

  • 4:50- Covered front porches are technically supposed to count towards the percentage of the lot built. it appears that house has one so the bay windows wouldnt effect that allotment as they wouldnt extend past the porch.

  • The first one looks good – looks like it will fit in with the surrounding houses and the top floor is the right scale for the rest of the house. The second one – the top floor looks ridiculous – couldn’t all levels be finished the same way? And I hate the enclosed stairwell – looks like it should be attached to an office building. I also bet it will be freeing in winter and burning hot in summer. Yuck.

  • I will reserve judgement but considering they seem to have though things through it may turn out looking good depending on execution.

    I think the other house has been on POP before and it was given a pretty unanamous thumbs down if I am not mistaken.

  • i have a friend who used to live @ NH and otis. i’ve seen that house so many times and didn’t recognize it at all in this picture! i don’t think it fits in at all and the brick pop-up looks weird since the lower floors are finished in a completely different manner.

  • thumbs down #1 – thumbs way up for #2!

  • The first looks bad to me already, but the second is beyond horrific. Perhaps one benefit of the downturn will be to weed out the seemingly limitless number of inconceivably incompetent architects in this city … then again, maybe those who charge little (a group I pray includes the author of this utter disaster) will only thrive more. I cringe on every walk up N.H. as I pass this and the even more notorious monstrosity across the street. I don’t understand why anyone actually becomes an architect who is so lacking in basic aesthetic sense. The specific comments covered it: the mismatched materials, the weirdly thin windows, the glass tumor attached to the side, the lack of any sensitivity to context / surroundings, the hideously boxy and featureless roofline, the lack of any attempt to coexist peacefully with its neighbors, the asymmetry — just a parade of horribles. This one is particularly disturbing because, as others have noted, it looks like they spent a fair amount on materials. God knows why when they clearly failed to spend much of anything on design.

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