I just noticed that the condos, the Wesleon, are finished at 12th and U St, NW next to the Moderno building. And it got me thinking about new architecture around town. We hear lots of complaints about new architecture/buildings that we don’t like however we don’t hear too much about new architecture that we do like. I actually like this one here and think they did a good job blending it with the Moderno next door. So are there examples of new buildings that you guys do like? If so where? And while we’re on the topic – what are your favorite examples of old buildings/row houses and other architecture that you like around town? Are there particular neighborhoods that have especially nice examples either new or old?
For old school I’m voting Dupont Circle, Logan Circle and Capitol Hill, particularly around East Capitol Street.
“Today, Mayor Vincent C. Gray joined Interim Chief Librarian Joi Mecks and members of the D.C. Public Library (DCPL) Board of Trustees to announce that the team of Martinez + Johnson and Mecanoo Architecture has been selected to renovate the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Library.
Martinez + Johnson is a District-based firm that has extensive experience with historic renovation projects, including DCPL’s Takoma Park and Georgetown libraries. Mecanoo is a Netherlands-based firm whose work includes Boston’s Dudley Municipal Center.
“Today, the District takes another step towards giving our residents the great central library they deserve in a way that helps improve both the public’s library experience and our library system’s bottom line,” said Mayor Gray. “I would like to thank the Library for selecting the best architecture team for the job. I also want to thank all of the people who provided input into the selection process.”
“Today, we take a huge step in helping to define what central library service will mean for urban libraries around the country,” said DCPL Board of Trustees member Neil Albert. “We’ve come a long way since the library began its transformation in 2006. I’m excited for what is yet to come for the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Library and the D.C. Public Library in general.”
The Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Library will be renovated to accommodate 21st-century library services. The library, which first opened in 1972, has many systems that need to be updated or replaced. Additionally, many aspects of library service have changed greatly in the 40 years since the building opened.
“The Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Library is a good library, but it can be an amazing library for the District,” said Mecks. “Now that we have a design team identified, we can begin to envision the next chapter for library service in the District. Martinez + Johnson and Mecanoo will work with library staff and the community on determining what services will be offered in the new Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Library. There will be more community meetings, more focus groups, more surveys and more crowdsourcing to come.”
Martinez + Johnson Architecture and Mecanoo Architecture were one of three finalists along with Patkau Architects/Ayers Saint Gross with Krueck + Sexton and STUDIOS Architecture/The Freelon Group. A Technical Evaluation Committee (TEC) composed of library, urban planning, architecture and preservation experts selected the final team, with assistance from an advisory panel, based on the team’s:
· Senior personnel assigned to the project and their experience designing and completing major libraries and obtaining appropriate approvals from D.C. and federal review agencies;
· Approach to managing the project, developing the project budget, managing the costs and schedule while ensuring the final design meets budget requirements and addressing key challenges that are inherent in the project; and
· Ability to meet or exceed the District’s Certified Business Enterprise participation rate of 35 percent.
In addition, community input was shared with the TEC and informed the selection. Such input included people in-person and online participating in the teams’ public presentations on Saturday, Feb. 15; more than 1,200 people posting and discussing over 100 different ideas on the library’s crowdsourcing platform; participant comments in 14 focus groups; and nearly 400 completed online and paper surveys about what residents wanted to see in a renovated central library.
With Martinez + Johnson Architecture and Mecanoo Architecture identified, library officials will begin preparing a contract for approval by the contract review committee of the DCPL Board of Trustees and the D.C. Council. In addition, the Advisory Panel will help the library continue to collect input from the community on what they would like to see in their renovated Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Library.
Upon contract approval, Martinez + Johnson and Mecanoo will work with library staff and consultants to determine if the project will be renovated as a stand-alone library or as a mixed-use building with additional floors. No decisions have been made on the type or extent of the renovations or additions to the library.
The total cost for the project has not been determined. Early estimates for the total cost range from $225 million to $250 million. The Mayor and D.C. Council have committed $103 million to the project in the capital budget.”
“The DC Public Library has received preliminary design ideas for the historic renovation of the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library.
The design ideas are now displayed at the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library, in neighborhood libraries and on the library’s website. In addition, teams will present their design ideas and approach at a public meeting on Sat., Feb. 15.
In December, the Library selected Mecanoo/Martinez + Johnson Architecture; Patkau Architects/Ayers Saint Gross with Krueck +Sexton; and STUDIOS Architecture/The Freelon Group as the final three architect teams. These finalists have developed two preliminary design ideas: one of a stand-alone library and one of a mixed-use building with additional floors. Both design ideas are intended to show each team’s vision and approach to renovating the central library.
No decisions have been made on the type or extent of the renovations or additions to the library.”
“The Washington, D.C., Metro rail transit system was selected for the 2014 AIA Twenty-five Year Award. Designed by Harry Weese with the matching ideals of “Great Society” liberalism and Mid-Century Modernism, the Washington Metro gives monumental civic space to the humble task of public transit, gravitas fit for the nation’s capital.
Recognizing architectural design of enduring significance, the Twenty-five Year Award is conferred on a building project that has stood the test of time by embodying architectural excellence for 25 to 35 years. Projects must demonstrate excellence in function, in the distinguished execution of its original program, and in the creative aspects of its statement by today’s standards. The award will be presented this June at the AIA National Convention in Chicago, the home of Metro’s architect, Harry Weese, who died in 1998.”
“Today the Library selected Mecanoo/Martinez + Johnson Architecture; Patkau Architects/Ayers Saint Gross with Krueck +Sexton; and STUDIOS Architecture/The Freelon Group as the final three architect teams for the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library renovation.
The finalists will develop two preliminary design ideas: one of a stand-alone library and one of a mixed-use building with additional floors. Both design ideas are intended to show each team’s vision and approach to renovating the central library. No decisions have been made on the type or extent of the renovations or additions to the library.
“The design ideas and presentations will show the library and the public the capabilities and vision of the finalists,” said Joi Mecks, interim chief librarian for the DC Public Library. “While the ideas presented may not necessarily be the final concepts used, the overall process will help us pick the best team for the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library renovation.”
In early February, the design ideas will be displayed at the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library, in neighborhood libraries and on the library’s website. In addition, teams will present their design ideas and approach at a public meeting on Saturday, Feb. 15. The teams are expected to:
1. Explain the design and how it is unique, iconic, functional, welcoming and inviting.
2. Explain how library services are accommodated and how the design creates dynamic learning environment.
3. Explain how the design approach preserves the historic nature of the building, especially the first floor and exterior.
4. Explain how the team will navigate the District and federal government regulation processes.
5. Explain the design approach for additional floors and separate access to those floors.
Design ideas and presentations will be reviewed by a technical evaluation committee composed of library, urban planning, architecture and preservation experts. An Advisory Panel also will help the technical evaluation committee assess the finalists. The Advisory Panel will include community representatives, preservation experts, members of the construction industry and select DC agency heads.
In addition to attending the presentation in February, the public has many ways to provide input that will be shared with the final three teams and ultimately the selected firm (more…)
“David M. Rubenstein, Chairman of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, today announced an additional $40 million in gifts for the Kennedy Center expansion project, including a significant leadership pledge from Michael and Noémi Neidorff and the Centene Charitable Foundation. Mr. Neidorff and David Rubenstein serve as co-chairs of the expansion project’s capital campaign. With these new commitments and the initial $50 million pledge from Mr. Rubenstein, $90 million has been raised for the Kennedy Center’s $125 million campaign. As previously announced, the design and construction costs for the expansion project will be paid for entirely with private funds.
The Kennedy Center’s expansion project will be constructed south of the existing facility and will include rehearsal space as well as dedicated classroom space and multipurpose rooms for the Center’s extensive arts education programs. Public access spaces will include gardens which will fuse the Kennedy Center with the landscape and river and an outdoor video wall upon which simulcast performances and other multimedia events may be projected. The exteriors will utilize translucent Okalux, glass, and Carrara marble, the same Italian marble which clads the original facility.
The expansion is being designed by Steven Holl and senior partner Chris McVoy of Steven Holl Architects of New York in partnership with BNIM Architects of Kansas City. The expansion is currently in design development and groundbreaking is expected in late 2014. Construction is expected to be completed in 2017.”
Georgia and Missouri Avenues NW (5929 Georgia Ave, NW)
Last week we learned DC’s first two Walmarts would be opening on Dec. 4th. While we have seen the one on H Street, above you can see how the Georgia Ave building is looking. Like the way it turned out?
Thanks to a reader for sending the photo above:
“Seems like a lot of finishing touches are needed, but the sign is up and and the site is buzzing with activity.”
“The Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library, located at 901 G Street NW, will have a major renovation and overhaul to meet the current and future needs of D.C. residents. Forty years after opening its doors, DC Public Library is now in the initial phase of exploring what’s possible for this historic building, and what makes a spectacular central library.
The renovated library will have books and other library materials and services for children, teens and adults including seniors and people with disabilities. The library will have space for meetings and events and will feature the latest technology. It will continue to have space devoted to D.C. history, including D.C. African American history.
As part of the design process, the Library is asking residents to share what combination of services, activities and technologies they would like to see in their new central library.
“On September 23rd, CSIS moved into its new headquarters at 1616 Rhode Island Avenue in Washington, D.C. CSIS’ new home is designed to be the premier destination for global dialogue and the development of strategic insights and bipartisan policy solutions.
Our new headquarters is a catalyst for the future—a premier destination that facilitates the union of intellect and opportunity. Behind the striking stone and glass façade, are a world-class, two-story conference space; multiple visitor and staff meeting rooms; modern, flexible office space to support our growing staff; and state-of-the-art electronics and audiovisual facilities. The building’s design and construction was guided by the latest green principles as we seek a LEED Platinum Certification.”
Blurbs from the ‘Burbs is written by Arlington resident Jeff Zeeman. Jeff previously wrote about the Lake Barcroft Community
This month’s Blurbs from the Burbs is courtesy of my wife Reina: Just down the road from the home of the man who built our country is a home designed by one who built for our country. George Washington might have established our lives as Americans, but Frank Lloyd Wright understood how Americans wanted to live.
Pass Mount Vernon on Richmond Highway in Alexandria to get to the Pope-Leighey House, a Frank Lloyd Wright home dating back to 1940. The house was originally located in Falls Church and was later moved to the site of Woodlawn, the plantation of Washington’s niece and nephew.
The home is a must-see, not for its spectacular nature like Wright’s Falling Water house, but for its livability and genius as a place that all modern folks (with shopping trips to Ikea and even Design Within Reach) are trying to emulate. The house revels in dual purpose, from the planter outside the kitchen window at arm’s length to grab herbs while cooking, to the compressed carport meant to highlight the vastness of the open living room.
The Pope-Leighey House was not built by someone rich — Mr. Pope was forced to borrow $8,000 from his employer, because the bank felt that a Wright house was too risky. And the house contains only two bedrooms plus a den, but therein lies its appeal. The Pope-Leighey House is especially worth a visit if you want to see how things used to be built for Americans; and then compare it to how we live now.