Judging Buildings – Catholic University


Wow, I think they did a really good job with this addition. You can hardly tell it is new from a distance.


It is from the Dominican House of Studies building:


Think they did a good job?


And for those that want to see an old school 70s style artist studios, check it out after the jump.


15 Comment

  • Sure I can tell that it’s new. Those Darth Vader windows are horrible. Why bother to replicate the proportions and massing of the original and then get the windows so bluntly wrong and unattractive.

  • All the architectural integrity of a Fairfax County McMansion. They did the architect no favor by putting it right next to a building which got the proportions right and relies on real stonework and at least a few decent architectural details.

  • the windows area an obvious giveaway. i suppose they could have done worse.

  • The vinyl siding and gutters add that 1990s look.

    How do older buildings handle this? I don’t see the downspouts on the old building.

    They left off a story.

  • it’s horrendous. the windows are completely ridiculous. all in all, very sad because they obviously spent a ton of money on that stonework front.

    and i can’t believe they have siding on it! thanks for pointing that out. EWW.

  • that said i LOVE LOVE LOVE those artist spaces. brookland has such a great feel.

  • i agree with the general consensus: Why go to all the trouble and expense of replicating the original building in material and scale, only to say “screw you!” and put in horrible, horrible, looking windows? Whiskey Tango Foxtrot?!

  • PoP, you should have rung the doorbell and asked to see the chapel. The altarpiece or reredos is just astonishingly beautiful.

    The Dominican House of Studies, btw, is not part of Catholic Unversity. It’s formal title is the “Pontifical Faculty of the Immaculate Conception.” The word “Pontifical” means that it is authorized or accredited to grant academic degrees in sacred studies by the Holy See. Many of the seminaries around Catholic University, like St. Paul’s College (Paulist) on 4th Street, are also separate academic institutions from CUA. They are, in this sense, different from, say, Oxford and Cambridge, which have Catholic seminaries as private halls of studies within the University e.g., Blackfriars or Greyfriars. The Theological College next door to the Dominican House is, however, a part of CUA. It is operated by the Society of St. Sulpice.

  • Wow – I happened to drive by there just yesterday and noticed it – (how could you not!) it is transcendentally awful – unless it is meant to be a sort of post-modern joke? I could live with that I suppose

    Would really love to hear from an actual architecht who might give us some insight into how awful buildings get made. (Or if they don’t actually think this is awful – why is it good?) I think most of us at least sort of understand how bad movies get made, but a building?

  • Paging Howard Roark! Victoriam has a question for you.

  • The architect is DeLizzio Architects and Planners.

    Here is a newsletter that was published at some point early in the design process.


    Looking at this it would appear that proper proportions and detailing were at one time part of the design and were eliminated somewhere along the way.

  • Thanks for the link not telling – but the original sketch doesn’t look all that better.

    If you’re going modern – especially as an addition to a traditional building – then go modern – as the Corcoran design. http://www.arcspace.com/architects/gehry/corcoran/

    And I’m not sure I’d want to listen to Howard Roark very long, he always seemed insufferable, even at the peak of my adolescent Ayn Rand phase. Didn’t he blow up his building because they put balconies on it? I kind of like balconies.

  • Looks a lot like some Michael Graves atrocity.

  • “hardly tell it is new”?? It looks Photoshopped, for chrissake!

  • This is nothing but a message board for bitter people. People, it’s a freakin’ building . . . Relax!

Comments are closed.