Before the Department of Homeland Security moves into its old insane asylum home, the National Historic Landmark will need some intense TLC
Although a designated landmark, the proposed new site for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in the heart of the St. Elizabeths West Campus, Washington D.C., is an intense fixer-upper. Working with architects Shalom Baranes Associates and contractor Grunley Construction, the General Services Administration proposes a total renovation of the 264,300 square foot Center Building, a collection of seven connected structures that served as patient treatment rooms and administrative offices for the original Government Hospital for the Insane. It later became known as the St. Elizabeths Hospital.
In the Library: Setting the Scene with Theater Architecture and Set Design
National Gallery of Art
6th and Constitution Avenue, NW
Through October 2
Performance venues have constantly morphed with the times, from the amphitheaters of ancient times to the digitally enabled entertainment centers of today.
Last year a labyrinth, now a giant ball pit: National Building Museum hosts indoor beach in its Great Hall
The magnificent, four-story Great Hall of the National Building Museum is now a site for executing cannonballs, rolling on the floor laughing, and other acts of gleeful revelry. A giant ball pit filled with recyclable translucent plastic orbs cuts between the colossal Corinthian columns, bounded by an enclosure made from scaffolding, wooden panels, and perforated mesh all painted stark white.
Scandalous no more: The Watergate Hotel post-$125 million renovation looks more classy and elegant than ever
As Washington, D.C.’s first “unapologetically luxurious” stomping ground for the rich and famous, The Watergate Hotel recently underwent a $125 million modernizing facelift. Inextricably connected with the Watergate scandal, the hotel has maintained its avant-garde design and curvaceous, classic elegance in a nod to its 1960s design by Italian architect Luigi Moretti.
Wednesday, April 15, 2015
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Think DC’s architecture begins and ends on the National Mall? Think again. The 17th annual Architecture Week starts on April 23 to give you a sneak peek into the buildings and attractions of Washington, DC! Organized by the Washington Chapter for the American Institute of Architects (AIA|DC), Architecture Week 2015 starts off with a LEGO Happy Hour on Thursday, April 23 and closes on Wednesday, April 29 with a discussion on “Why Architecture and Preservation Matter.”
Architecture Week 2015 brings many occasions for people of all ages to learn about the city in exciting ways including tours, film screenings, children’s activities, and networking events. Get the chance to go behind the scenes and tour a Smithsonian construction site, a variety of historical landmarks and foreign embassies, and even a local DC brewery (also sample their beer)!
Public events held throughout Washington, DC will be of interest to visitors and residents alike, architecture enthusiasts, children, and, of course, architects looking for exciting opportunities to earn learning units. With over 20 free and low cost events, there’s something for everyone during Architecture Week. View the calendar for more information and to register for events www.aiadc.com/architectureweek.
With its combination of iconic references to the nation’s past and the machinery that drives our political present, Washington, DC presents a particular set of problems and possibilities to facades innovators. Top experts in high-performance building envelope design and construction will this gather this Thursday, March 5, to explore some of these issues during Facades+ AM: Washington Three by Three, a morning seminar taking place at the District Architecture Center.
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Metal mesh bridges old and new in Davis Brody Bond renovation.
For their renovation and expansion of the South African Embassy in Washington, DC, Davis Brody Bond faced an unusual aesthetic challenge. Besides updating the two historic buildings housing the embassy’s offices and residence, they were tasked with building a new atrium for public welcoming, public events, and conference rooms—right in between the two older buildings. The architects turned to Cambridge Architectural, a Maryland manufacturer of wire mesh architectural systems. “Davis Brody Bond wanted to have this new building as a very contemporary element between the two limestone buildings,” said Cambridge Architectural’s Ann Smith. A wire mesh facade seemed a perfect solution to the problem of combining old and new, seamlessly bridging the two masonry structures, and providing crucial sun shading for the glass atrium.
We’ve known for some time now that ex MOCA director Richard Koshalek has returned to Los Angeles from D.C., where he recently stepped down as director of the Hirshhorn Museum. Now we know one of his exploits: We hear that he is consulting Frank Gehry on the organization of his vast archives. Maybe this means there will someday be a Gehry museum? Certainly the architect is not getting any younger, so we may hear more soon.