Dear PoPville – Another Suzane Reatig Project in Shaw

1314 5th St, NW

Dear PoPville,

Thought I’d pass along a few photos of Suzane Reatig’s latest effort in Shaw, on 5th between N and O. This was a rowhouse with an empty lot next door. She gutted the rowhouse, built her typical color blocked, grey building next to it, combined the two, and then BUILT the new building over the TOP of the old one like a pop-up. And then she painted the old one purple. They share the same address, so I assume they will be condos.

In early August we looked at a Reatig project at Rhode Island and R St, NW.

31 Comment

  • who took those wonderful photos?!

    A two unit condo?

  • mtpgal

    That is a whole lotta ugly.

  • Why oh why does she keep getting work in Shaw??? Move along please…

  • I think it looks great. Nice to see modern design mixed with the older row houses.

  • It looks like Legos.

  • What a piece of…..

  • Horrible.

  • Awful. Please Suzane Reatig, please stop designing buildings in Shaw. They are tasteless, cheap-looking, and don’t fit with the neighborhood.

  • I like the concept but the execution is a bit off.
    Perhaps if that band separating the upper row of windows was moved up to the same hight as teh cornice ont he original and some windows on the left hand side of the 3rd floor it’d look a little less off.
    I like the idea of contemporary meets old (cady’s alley, bread for the city…) this is just a tad off.

    • I agree. I think it is a fairly respectful way to pop up and add to the end of a row, but that the design, so far as we can see here, is weak.

  • looking at the block — lot’s of misfit buildings there, so what is one more ugly duckling going to do to mess up the mix.

  • It’s gonna be beautiful, once the attach the “exterior” part…

  • pretty sure someone high up at UHOP feels bad that she wouldn’t get work elsewhere…

  • Hideous. Almost guaranteed to be blight in 20 years.

  • I like the use of color but they just look cheap!

  • I am replacing fascia board. Will I be able to use the material used in the walls of the new building? Do you know what it is and where I can find it? Thank you!

  • Slap the blighted tax on it.

  • Sparta

    I drive by it every day. It’s fine.

    1. It’s better than what was there.
    2. The color plays off the gray of the library across from it.
    3. Diversity in a neighborhood’s architecture is welcome.
    4. It’s playful, doesn’t take itself too seriously. Unlike a lot of commenters here.

    • I think you must be confused. There’s no library across from it. This is at 5th and N. It’s across from brick.

      • Sparta

        Right you are, Katemc. I was flashing back to the discussion a few month ago about a similar building on Rhode Island off 7th.

        I’ll check this one out in a few days. My general sense is that it’s ok, but wish the designer/architect was inspired to do more than repeating the same design.

        • It also tends to look cheap – her materials aren’t good. But the fact that you confused it with another definitely says something about her originality!

    • I sit on a Board of Zoning Appeals (BZA) in the region and one thing I’ve noticed over the years is that whenever someone uses “it’s playful” to describe a building, odds are very, very good the building is uglier than a mangy, one-eyed dog.

  • It sort of looks like one building humping another.

    So how ’bout it, PoP? A new semi-regular feature–Architectural Coitus of the Day?

  • We need more housing in DC so I’m happy this was built. I also like how it looks. Combining the modern and traditional looks nice. I just hope it is well built.

  • I don’t know who Suzane Reatig is, but I think she needs to go back to architecture school!

  • I actually kind of like this one, specifically how the modern portion sets off the details of the original by way of contrast and the fact that the old facade is forward of the modern addition. I’ve seen too many of these where the modern portion pushes as far as possible to the sidewalk, completely engulfing the older, more charming row house.

    The plain concrete stoop I could do without, though.

  • Will someone please ban Reatig from further uglifying Shaw, please. Awful. But, this one is not as bad as her other preschool-color themed cheapo looking designs.

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