Tuesday, November 08, 2011

14th Street Project Altered, Moves Forward, After ANC Review


14th Street's newest residences have made it through community input, now a bit smaller, and with a new look. "The Irwin," a 6-story, mixed use building designed by Torti Gallas and Partners, will take the place of a 1960s-era warehouse at 1326-1328 14th Street, now with a new slightly shrunken design and new facade since it was first conceptualized six months ago, as a result of ANC, HPO and neighborhood input.

But in replacing the "hole in the urban fabric" on 14th, the Torti Gallas design team said that it has not been frustrated with the process. Conversely, they claim to have enjoyed working with the HPO
(what architect doesn't want a committee to change their design?), the immediate neighbors, and the ANC 2F Community Development Committee in shaping the direction of the project.

The next step by owner/developer
Irwin Edlavitch and architect Torti Gallas will be to take the revised design to the Historic Preservation Review Board for approval in December, and to the Board of Zoning Adjustment next spring with the request for a variance from parking and loading requirements and to allow multiple roof structures of varying height.



The initial design concept from June is seen below. The design was for 61 residential units, ground floor retail, 5.3 floor-to-area-ratio (FAR), 75' tall (size permitted by the Art Overlay zoning regulations):

The HPO requested a one story reduction, an increase in the "attic reading" at the top story, and that the "frame" of the building be brought to the property line. This design was taken to the ANC at the end of August, which requested that the design be presented to immediate neighbors and that the building "relate more to the historic context of 14th Street and be made to look more residential":

In light of the new directive, the building was given a new skin and distinct bays. The new version (see below) was submitted to the Board of Zoning Adjustment and presented to the ANC in September, which asked the design team to eliminate the "frame" and replace the terra-cotta rainscreen with masonry materials:

The end result of the participatory process is the current design, seen below, which will go before the HPRB in December, after a presentation to the full ANC. As described by Sarah Alexander, Associate with Torti Gallas, "This design incorporates a more traditional skin of red brick masonry with still keeping the playful 'artistic' moves [including the] entry canopy and rooftop stair towers." There will be an entry lobby visible from the street that will have an "art gallery feel":

With approximately half the ground floor space taken up by a lobby, garage entry and loading space, there will be around 4,000 s.f. left for use by a retailer. The project includes 53 residential units, 20 parking spaces (all covered or below grade), a small fitness room and roof terrace.

On the other side of the restaurant at Thai Tanic, located next to The Irwin, C.A.S. Riegler is in the process of creating a 5-unit boutique condo, at 1324 14th Street.

Next door, 1320 and 1318 are currently under construction, to be turned into The Pig, a "nose and tail, farm to table" creation by Eatwell DC, which should be open for business next spring, and more apartments by Tikvah Inc.

Washington D.C. real estate development news. Renderings provided courtesy Torti Gallas.

23 comments:

Jim said...

terra cotta > masonry. sigh.

Anonymous said...

Looks like HPRB is earning their keep by humanizing what was an incredibly cold design. A much improved design, but how about throwing a cornice on!

Phil on Nov 8, 2011, 1:03:00 PM said...

We have only so much developable land in DC, particularly with the height restriction. To reduce the amount of housing on a critical and rapidly-developing artery is idiotic to say the least.

DAPPER VAN on Nov 8, 2011, 4:47:00 PM said...

The original design was bold and in keeping with the arts-focus of this district. The new one is junk, and will "fit in" nicely with the rest of the red-brick-with-glass-window-bay condo crap that are popping up like suburban McMansions on the rest of 14th Street. Will DC ever be able to have interesting architecture, or will our NIMBY-ism get in the way of every single (remotely) creative design?

Anonymous said...

There was nothing creative about the old design. It was dehumanizing and would have hulked over the entire block. The original design bumped out over the street with what appears to be an ugly overhang.

Urban architecture should fit in with its surroundings. While the new design might not be bold, it does fit in (which is fine with me). The HPRB, in this case, did a good thing for the neighborhood by inspiring the architectural team to redesign it.

Tim said...

Contrary to your blog post, this project has not cleared all of the community hurdles. As a member of the group of neighbors negotiating with the developer, I can report we still have concerns about the scale of the project as well as some of its design components. We have urged the developer to further reduce the project by one floor, increase the available parking and reduce the size of the roof deck.


We are hopeful the developer will address our concerns when they next appear before the ANC, if not before. But if we are unable to reach an agreement, we are prepared to oppose the project at all levels of review.

Anonymous said...

There are several ways the bulk of this building could be reduced through cornices, and details. Unfortunatley, the architect is playing heroic modernist and seems now stuck in these half hearted efforts to humanize this building. The architects Torti Gallas are great at doing traditional designs, they can definatley do better than this, if pushed to do the right thing.

Anonymous said...

I don't see how reducing it would make it fit in with the 'scale' of the block anyways. From the rendering, there are least two other buildings on that block which are taller than the current design already

DAPPER VAN on Nov 9, 2011, 10:44:00 AM said...

Further, if we are only encouraging architecture that "fits in" with its 14th Street surroundings, we'd have a lot of new run down, two-story liquor stores with bars on their windows. Architecture should be forward-looking--it shouldn't be hamstrung by the blight that's defined Logan/Shaw for the past several decades.

Anonymous said...

If you think Logan Circle is defined by it's most run down aspects, then you aren't looking at what ever attracted this developer to the neighborhood. Forward looking would be to not repeat the mistake of the last 50 years and do a modernist monstricity that gives the middle finger to it's surroundings.

Anonymous said...

Pass me another Ambien, DC, and wake me when you decide you want to be a real city...

Anonymous said...

What makes a real city?

The original building design was atrocious. The newest design still needs some work with respect to its massing, etc.

It's ok to have forward-looking architecture that's humanly-scaled and respectful of its surroundings. It's not ok for architecture to give its neighbors the middle finger and take over the entire block in a hulking mass like in the original design.

Anonymous said...

I'm confused...is this the development at 14th and Rhode Island? 14th and R? 14th and S? 14th and T? 14th and....

Whatever....they all look the same... such a shame. Ballston here we come!

Anonymous said...

THIS IS SO FRUSTRATING!

There are PLENTY of buildings on this street and the surrounding area that are much taller and much uglier than this piece.

HPRB needs to stop playing God. All they do is bully architects into mediocrity. All these architects did to "humanize the design" was add unnecessary junk that the developer won't want to pay for and will probably end looking incredibly silly next to authentic details of surrounding historic structures.

The whole city can't and shouldn't be just like georgetown.

I live in Dupont, on 17th street, in a 100 year old building that is taller than many modern 8 story buildings - surrounded by rowhouses... I guess HPRB should kick us out and tear the building down so it fits in with the imaginary "rest of the neighborhood".

Anonymous said...

FRUSTERATED Anon above - HPRB has yet to review the project so they are not actually playing god. HPO is not the same as HPRB. HPO staff advise before the HPRB hearing which is a voting body.

Anonymous said...

Contrary to your blog post, this project has not cleared all of the community hurdles. As a member of the group of neighbors negotiating with the developer, I can report we still have concerns about the scale of the project as well as some of its design components.

IMGoph on Nov 10, 2011, 1:31:00 PM said...

Thanks for sharing all of the iterations. It's nice to see the sausage making, such as it is, here!

Anonymous said...

Lol @ Ballston here we come! Indeed, DC new architecture is boring and atrocious. Backward looking community members and a less than visionary HPO/HPRB/OZ/OP have contributed to this corporate looking mediocre street that (sadly) had the potential to be so much more. Tribeca, Greenwich Village, and Meat Packing District have done an excellent job in NYC of mixing historic & modern architecture. Too bad DC is caught in a ugly time warp.

Anonymous said...

Leave it to the neighborhood nazis to take a classy modern feeling, and completely destroy it with bricks. God how I would hate to be an architect with any sense of aesthetics in this town....

Anonymous said...

why do buildings have to be human?

Anonymous said...

This started out as a pretty cool project and got watered down. I guess the end result is not bad, but the bays are kinda cheesy -- the sleek front was much better. HPRB needs to wake up and figure our what century it is. . .

Drew Mitchell on Nov 16, 2011, 11:38:00 PM said...

I attended tonight's meeting and unfortunately in this case apparently the design ship sailed a while ago… an uninspiring compromise where nobody really wins.

We are in an arts overlay district and that spirit should infuse the built environment, not just what's contained within the structures. This is a missed opportunity to create something cool, special, creative, stunning.

Progressive design (including architecture) must be supported by our community or we shouldn't be allowed to keep our moniker DC Arts District.

anonymous on Dec 23, 2011, 11:30:00 PM said...

ANC: everybody wants to be an architect. These people, with no architectural training, think that adding brick to the facade make the building "fit in". Here we have the opportunity to create a modern little jewel of a building, yet they are forcing architect to create another ordinary building the "fits in"

 

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