Friday, October 22, 2010

Hickok Cole to Design New AIA Center in DC

The Washington D.C. Chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIA|DC), in partnership with the Washington Architectural Foundation (WAF), recently revealed that a team from Hickok Cole Architects has been awarded the task of designing the new District Architecture Center (DAC) at 421 7th Street NW in downtown Washington, D.C. AIA received 17 contest entries from firms throughout the District, but the six-person jury could only select one winning design. Winning the week-long, rapid-fire design competition doesn't just earn the architects an ego boost, they also get the design contract and a $6,500 prize. Coming in second place, and sure to be heckled at the office, was another team from Hickok Cole; but losing doesn't taste quite as bad with a $3,500 check.

Members of the winning team include: Devon Perkins, AIA LEED AP; Jason Wright, AIA LEED AP; Lori Geftic, IIDA, LEED AP; Matt Starr, Assoc. AIA; Rod Letonja, AIA, LEED AP; Shelly Mrstik, RA, LEED AP, and Thomas Corrado, LEED AP. The working drawings were spawned from "a conviction that the project should express light, transparency and a connection with the city." More specifically, the design team penciled a two-story space that employs a healthy dose of glass so that a sense of openness, as well as natural light (sunlight, not the beer), spills throughout the entire building. When reached for comment on their winning design, the media staff at Hickok Cole played Steel-Curtain-style defense, sternly denying DCMud's prying questions: "we cannot release any more information than has already been put out there." What kind of dirty secrets could be hiding behind an innocent design competition? That's the kind of perilous journalistic digging that should be left to Bisnow; let's just hope this blog is not in too deep already.

Sigal Construction has agreed to act as general contractor, and construction is expected to begin in March of 2011, putting an optimistic delivery and move-in date in the late summer of next year. Initial sketches must be elaborated and expanded upon, as finalized architectural drawings are to be completed by the end of December to avoid delays. Besides anchoring educational outreach efforts and operating as the Chapter House for AIA|DC and for WAF, the Center plans to also feature a gallery dedicated to showcasing architecture and design talent from around the capital city.

Washington, D.C. Real Estate Development News


Anonymous said...

it's also an interesting coincidence that Hickok Cole is a donor to the WAF.

Anonymous said...

"What kind of dirty secrets could be hiding behind an innocent design competition?"


Anonymous said...

quite disappointing.

Anonymous said...

Golly, what a weird set of reactions. . . .

1. Many member firms of DCAIA donate to the WAF. It's a good thing, not a scary, conspiratorial activity.

2. Quite disappointing? There's one image posted here, and it was generated during a week-long charette. How can you possibly tell that it's disappointing?

Anonymous said...

quite disappointing reaction to the 'quite disappointing' comment. I wonder who wrote that! I too think the design is not that interesting. It looks like yet another boring interior project in DC. It has no character or brand. It could be for any client, regardless of what they do or who they are. It is not even site specific. It could be in any building. I don't have to have numerous images or a narrative to tell me what it would look like. I can imagine.

Anonymous said...

"a conviction that the project should express light, transparency and a connection with the city."

Well, from the image I get somewhat a sense of transparency, but certainly not light, or connection with the city. There must be more that's not apparent.

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