Judging Building Additions


I’m not sure if I’ve featured it before but I saw it again this past weekend and was shocked all over again. It is an addition to the Women’s National Democratic Club (the addition sits on Q Street near Dupont Circle). It looks like some sort of bunker. Was this a proper style back in the day? Does anyone dig it?

18 Comment

  • ha! Glad to see you found it again ๐Ÿ™‚

    This reminds me of a lot of the modern houses on Long Island which also stood out as it would be mostly victorian styles and ranches then BAM modern house with wierd curves and funny windows all in white or grey.

  • Brutalism.

  • It’s a ICBM silo in disguise.

  • Well, it’s a better example of Brutalism than a certain Church of Christ, Scientist that I could name…

  • That looks like something you would see on a SUNY (State University of New York) campus that was designed in the 70’s. Except it’s missing the Fallout Shelter signage.

  • I like it!

  • Ugly, soulless, windowless, and the doors look like they belong on a run-down elementary school building. A shocking contrast with the quality brickwork and elegant proportions of the original building.

  • Generally, the idea is not try to to “imitate” the old building next to it. Well known approach in architecture, and I generally do prefer that to “faux historic”. And I do like this one too – sure, it looks a bit dated for our current tastes, but the 180 degree contrast between the two works quite well in my humble opinion.

  • Ok, I think I made a few grammar mistakes and whatnot there.. ๐Ÿ˜€

  • yeah i think this is one of the more successful brutalist buildings in DC.

  • I love the old house and hate the addition.

  • I grew up in the 70’s and this style of architecture was as ugly and unpopular back then as it is today.

  • Like it.

  • fugly. i’ve seen better looking prisons

  • I think it suffers from the fact that old, gray cement just doesn’t weather well. There are a number of older buildings in this style and I find it structurally interesting (I mean, the shape is just excellent), but the way the material weathers is borderline disgusting.

  • I used to intern here, and although I can’t tell you why the (little old) ladies of the WNDC chose this style, I CAN tell you it was done in the 70s. The inside is a large dining room where they have speakers and weddings. It is actually quite pretty on the inside and not a bit brutalist. The ladies are definitely more in favor of antiques than modern styles.

  • If someone were to simply spend an afternoon pressure-washing all the nasty soot off that concrete, it would probably look 100% better.

  • I like that the massing is compatible with the neighboring buildings. It references the same roof lines and fenestration, while at the same time being a fine example of the brutalist style (which by the way is derived from the french word ‘brut’ for ‘raw’, as in ‘raw concrete’, rather than being a brutal assault on the eyes.)

    Now, I’m not saying I want to see lots of brutalism in our urban landscape, but this one isn’t so bad. However, I hate the institutuional doors and railings – those could be softened without diminishing the style. And like others said, a good cleaning would help as well. Just because something is a good example of a style doesn’t mean it needs to be frozen in time, never to be updated or maintained.

Comments are closed.