Judging Buildings


I’ve been meaning to ask about this building, Union Row, located on 14th Street and V street for quite a while. I think it’s pretty interesting because the building has three distinct sections:


More photos after the jump. Thumbs up or down?



22 Comment

  • Great building, I think the best shot is from within the courtyard area looking out to 14th st

  • this building is great, it’s filled with gay people like me

  • The two bedrooms and penthouses that are on the curved part are absolutely amazing. Probably among the best in the city. The finishes, especially the penthouse level can’t be beat. Only drawback was the lack of a workout room, which was high on my priority list when looking around.

  • Great building. It reminds me of my days at Princeton.

  • I like the interior courtyard area and walking bridges. I also like the basic retail and lighting it adds to this stretch of 14th. I bet it has great views downtown.

  • I’m not a fan of it’s cruise ship appearance. However, the Yes! market is great & it’s good to hear that it’s filled with gays.

  • It’s good that the architects tried to break up the mass of the building by using three distinct facades. I like the facade at 14th and W Streets the best. It blends in well with the built environment of the neighborhood. The middle facade is so-so. I like the facade at 14th and V Streets the least. I don’t like the materials used. It looks cheap. And, we should be using complimentary colors on the facade. The window molding materials and its color does not look good with the brick. Nor does it look good on the building across the street (The Langston Lofts). Most importantly, we should never be putting a curved structure at an intersection. It is just not right. From a distance, the structure does not look balanced. The architects overdid it there.

    Let’s not reinforce bad architecture in our city. If a bad architectural example is already built, the architect / developer should not incorporate the same bad example on their new structure just because it’s already there. We can do better than that. The facades at 14th and W (good) and 14th and V Streets (bad) are miles apart.

    And, I’m with colelady. The Yes! market is great for the neighborhood.

  • It’s ok. Won’t offend anyone, not memorable. So I guess by most standards that’s great.. 🙂

  • We call these The Lofts at Bergen-Belsen because the warehouse entrance and the courtyard appear to have been inspired by the holocaust museum. Really awful. Took a look inside a couple of the warehouse units and they’re built horribly. The dishwasher in one was taped to protect the finish (with “COUNTER TOO LOW” sharpied onto the tape), the floor vents weren’t straight (or intruded into the baseboard), and there’s already rust plainly visible on the exterior staircases. Does the new brutalism purposefully embrace bad construction (perhaps inspired by the j. edgar hoover’s dangerously decomposing facade downtown)?

  • Petworth is also chock full o’ gays – a very good thing!!!

  • Tom: If you can’t handle going into a building when it is at “substantial completion” phase, then don’t go in. But seeing punchlist items, as they are called, is not a sign of bad design or construction. They happen in every single building in every single place the world since the beginning of the built environment.

    The finish on the dishwasher was taped to protect it from numbskulls like you who would damage it before the unit was purchased. As for the sharpie comment, who knows where that came from. Perhaps a delivery person tried to install it in another unit which had ADA counters where it obviously wouldn’t fit. Or perhaps didn’t know how to use the levelers to install the dishwasher properly. Or just didn’t feel like using the shims necessary. Contractors write all sorts of things in all kinds of places that very rarely mean there is something faulty with the construction.

    Floor vent straightening is taken care of with a screwdriver. This type of thing happens so often that during a punchlist the architect or interior designer will often simply note “correct floor vent installation throughout” rather than noting each individual case.

    Otavio: You have very bizarre ideas about what architecture “should” be. Only complimentary color schemes? Do you even know what that term means? Do you know what other options are, or are you just whipping out a word you learned in elementary art class. And since when should one not use curves at an intersection? Not only are there plenty of curves occuring all over the world at intersections quite beautifully, but curves are certainly better placed at corners than they are mid-block. And why does something have to look balanced. Balance is one type of design. It is not the only type. Even the buildings that Union Row is meant to compliment are not ‘balanced’. If all architecture was always balanced and complimentary colors, the world would be a very boring place.

  • Dear Mr. NOT TELLING,

    I think you should get counseling for your anger management problem. Perhaps you have a material interest in the building? JNo? ust because you have an aesthetic difference of opinion does not give you the right to demean other commenters–“elementary art class”, “Numbskull”. Let’s keep this discussion friendly or keep it to yourself. Jeff

  • I’m so tired of the critics on this blog who think that their opinions should be adopted by everyone. I’m with Not Telling on this. It would be interesting to see the homes of some of these critics. Having lived in several parts of this city, including Petworth, and having been in several new buiings while looking to purchase, I can say that this building has some of the most unique and innovative floorplans I have seen. The finishes are great as well. Sure, some of the units are boring boxess, but if you haven’t been in one of the curved units, you shouldn’t criticize- they are sweet. Not everyone wants to live in a craptastic rowhouse with poor insulation and slapdash sunrooms. In fact, I was just in the old hood today, and couldn’t help but hope that new development comes soon- and hopefully those that think it’s cool to keep the old crap authentic will not hold things up.

  • I agree with Mr. NOT TELLING so Jeff toughen up!

  • “Gentlepeople”
    My point has nothing to do with the interiors or the particular design elements. It’s the mean-spirited attitude that I dislike. If you want to ridicule people who have different views then I suggest you join Not Telling in therapy.


  • I don’t think it is fair to call this the “new brutalism.” This condo development can’t hold a candle to real brutalism. I know people have differences of opinions on brutalist design (I sort of like it). But to compare this to something like the FBI building doesn’t really hold water.

  • As an fyi
    the curved facade of the building at 14th and V was required by the fact that the greenline metrotube curves in that direction at that intersection; thus the developer couldnt dig striaght down and make a perpendicular intersection that some people prefer. I don’t think the architects (SK&I) were trying to be cute there, they just adapted their design to the realities of the site location.

  • Not a tree, shrub, or leaf in sight.

  • I actually love these condos. We considered buying one but then decided we wanted a house instead. I like the location a lot and I thought – for the most part – there was a decent amount of thought put into the units. I agree that some of the 1st and 2nd floor units in the warehouse section were a little funky but nothing I couldn’t get past.

  • Thanks, Marco, for the reasoning behind the curved facade at 14th and V. I appreciate it. 🙂

  • Did anyone see the HGTV Property Virgins show the other day? The girl ended up buying a unit here. It must have been taped a while ago because she paid about $600k for a two bedroom two level! I dont know, $600k doesnt really sound like a virgin to me.

  • Yeah, that was me on the show. And yeah, it was about $530k. So what if I waited to buy and had money to spend? I was sick of renting. And I really liked the place, so I bought it. And yes, it was taped last summer.

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