Monday, April 09, 2012

GW Proposes Campus Museum

George Washington University on Thursday presented to the Zoning Commission its plans for a museum at the corner of 21st and G streets on the Foggy Bottom campus. The plan includes renovating the historic Woodhull House (now home to the University Police Department) and constructing an adjacent 4-story building.

Hartman-Cox Architects designed the project that includes a combined 31,470 s.f. of new construction and renovated space. The new building will be a 24,126 s.f., 65-foot-tall building with 4 stories above grade and 2 stories below. A bridge will connect the new building to the Woodhull House.

Future museum site

Rendering of 21st Street view
Lee Becker, partner at Hartman-Cox, presented plans for the building during the Thursday meeting. He said the facade will be constructed primarily of Indiana limestone with some glass and metal, with a tooled cut on the limestone to create shadowing. The fourth floor will feature office space with a glass exterior, with a painted metal-framed penthouse to blend with the limestone. Bluestone pavers will connect the existing brick walkways and concrete streetscapes.

The $22 million project is slated for completion in 2014. The GW Museum will feature the Albert H. Small Washingtoniana Collection as well as provide a new home for The Textile Museum now located in two historic buildings on S Street in Kalorama.

Rendering of G Street view

Much of Thursday's zoning discussion focused on the location and procedures for bus and loading areas. Concerns from the community and commissioners included the need for a better plan to regulate where buses will drop off passengers and prevent them from idling on site.

The tight space and precarious design of a loading zone designated for moving exhibition pieces also raised some concerns. The University previously agreed to have trained personnel direct the deliveries, but some commissioners wanted more assurance that staff would be available on demand. The Zoning Commission did not vote Thursday, instead asking for more information before making a decision. The University will return to the Commission May 14.

A postponed Zoning Commission vote does not necessarily translate into a delay in the project. In an emailed statement, the University said the project timeline included flexibility for such an extension.

The University already received support from the D.C. Office of Planning, Historic Preservation Review Board and Department of Transportation. Video of Thursday's hearing is available from the DC Office of Zoning.

Washington, D.C. real estate development news


Anonymous said...

Looks pretty sleek. I like the connector between the old and new buildings.

Anonymous said...

Wonderful Project!! This is high caliber infill work bringing a much needed gallery presence to this part of town.

Anonymous said...

The ghosts of SAE will haunt those grounds forever!

Anonymous said...

Yowza! Is Hartman-Cox returning to its roots? Years--well, decades--ago, Hartman-Cox did lots of progressive but contextually-sensitive work, like 21 Dupont Circle, the Foundry in Georgetown, and others. At some point in the late 80s, they shifted to historicism, maintaining the same good detailing and proportions but in a radically traditional mode. This branding has recently been extended with H-C partner Graham Davidson pushing other architects toward extreme historicism (in his role on the powerful Historic Preservation Review Board).

This project is cause for celebration, if indeed Hartman-Cox has decided that non-reactionary design has value for them. They did such good things in the 70s and 80s, which is notable as a time when most architecture was awful. I feel confident they have the talen to do it once again.

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