Facades+AM DC to focus on environmental concerns and the building envelope

Facades+AM returns to Washington, DC on March 10. (Alan & Flora Botting / Flickr)

Facades+AM returns to Washington, DC on March 10. (Alan & Flora Botting / Flickr)

On March 10, Facades+AM, the half-day spin-off of the popular Facades+ conference series, returns to the nation’s capital. Read More

Gabriel Dawe’s Plexus A1 in the Newly Renovated Renwick Gallery

Art, East
Thursday, January 14, 2016
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Gabriel Dawe's Plexus A1. (Courtesy Conduit Gallery, Ron Blunt)

Gabriel Dawe’s Plexus A1. (Courtesy Conduit Gallery, Ron Blunt)

Until July 2016, Plexus A1, an art installation comprising of nearly 60 miles of handwoven threads by Mexican artist Gabriel Dawe, will be exhibited in the Smithsonian American Art Museum’s newly renovated Renwick Gallery. Dawe’s installation consists of 15 hues to mimic the full spectrum of visible light.

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Behold the “candy desk,” a secret stash of treats in the U.S. Senate

East, News, Other
Tuesday, January 12, 2016
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For those in attendance, the State of the Union can be exhausting. Standing up, sitting down, standing up and clapping politely for hours saps the energy of even the most ardent politicians. If viewers at home see senators sneaking out of the House during tonight’s speech, don’t worry: those elected officials are probably headed for the Senate’s “Candy Desk.” Read More

Japanese government to fund a maglev train line between DC and Baltimore

East, News, Transportation
Wednesday, November 11, 2015
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The JR Maglev train, used on the experimental Yamanashi railway that US state and federal officials rode in trip to Japan last spring (Courtesy t-mizo / Flickr)

The JR Maglev train, used on the experimental Yamanashi Maglev Test Track that US officials rode on trip to test the technology in Japan last spring (Courtesy t-mizo / Flickr)

You can do a lot in fifteen minutes: cook some surf-and-turf, blast through paperwork, star in a mediocre crime drama, or travel 40 miles between major East Coast cities. Well, not yet. Given the excruciatingly slow pace of infrastructure modernization in the U.S., there will be a wait on that last one, probably for decades.

Yet, the U.S. is taking small steps towards twenty-first century transportation. Last week, the U.S. Transportation Department granted $27.8 million in Federal Railroad Administration funds to the Maryland Department of Transportation and the Maryland Economic Development Corporation to conduct feasibility studies for a maglev train line that will run between DC and BaltimoreRead More

REX unveils a fluted glass office building in Washington, D.C.

Architecture, East, News, Newsletter, Unveiled
Wednesday, November 4, 2015
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(Courtesy REX)

(Courtesy REX)

As the United States capital,Washington, D.C. is a de facto magnet for smart people who want to make an impact on government. The city doesn’t often make headlines for its contemporary architecture, though occasionally, a sharp new project breaks into the parade of undistinguished office buildings. One of those is a newly unveiled 11-story structure by Brooklyn-based REX at 2050 M Street, between Washington and Dupont Circles. Read More

Gallaudet University announces four finalist teams to create the “first urban environment for the deaf”

Architecture, Awards, Design, East
Wednesday, October 21, 2015
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Students at the Gallaudet University. (Courtesy Gallaudet University)

Students at the Gallaudet University. (Courtesy Gallaudet University)

Gallaudet University in Washington D.C. is doubling down on design for the deaf. The university has announced four finalists in an international design competition that will add to an ambitious program to build DeafSpace, the “first urban environment for the deaf.”

Read More

Developers get smart on the eventual redo of D.C.’s Brutalist J. Edgar Hoover Building

Architecture, Development, East, News
Thursday, October 15, 2015
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The J. Edgar Hoover Building (Courtesy Federal Bureau of Investigation)

The J. Edgar Hoover Building (Courtesy Federal Bureau of Investigation)

A long-standing fortress of state secrecy is under siege. The federal government is selling Washington, D.C.’s J. Edgar Hoover Building to a developer who, citizens hope, will turn the FBI’s headquarters into a mixed use development.

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The White House is up for auction—or at least an old piece of it

East, Preservation
Tuesday, September 22, 2015
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Where the plinth was used. (Courtesy RRAuction)

Room where the plinth was used. (Courtesy RRAuction)

Here’s your chance to own a piece—a very small piece—of the actual White House. No large lobbyist pockets required. A relic from the presidential mansion will go up for auction at a live event later this month. The piece is an architectural ornament from the main hall of 1817 that President Madison rebuild after an 1814 fire.

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Architects design an interactive installation at the Smithsonian that calls for participants to overthrow dictators

Architecture, East
Thursday, September 17, 2015
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(Courtesy naworks)

(Courtesy naworks)

Viva la revolución? A new interactive installation in Washington D.C. named Starry Heavens aims to use architecture for anarchy by unifying participants and encouraging them into carrying out collective acts of mobocracy.

Read More

Study shows that Washington, D.C.’s bike-share program is reducing traffic congestion

City Terrain, East, Transportation
Friday, September 4, 2015
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Introduced in London by mayor Boris Johnson, 'Boris Bikes' have been a hit. ( Chris Sampson / Flickr )

Introduced in London by mayor Boris Johnson, ‘Boris Bikes’ have been a hit. (Chris Sampson / Flickr )

Research by Casey J. Wichman for the think tank Resources for the Future (RFF) has found a causal relationship between bike sharing programs and traffic congestion in Washington, D.C.

Continue reading after the jump.

Before the Department of Homeland Security moves into its old insane asylum home, the National Historic Landmark will need some intense TLC

Architecture, East, News, Preservation
Tuesday, August 25, 2015
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(Courtesy GSA/Grunley/Shalom Baranes)

Aerial view of the site as it looks today. (Courtesy GSA/Grunley/Shalom Baranes)

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.

Continue reading after the jump.

Gensler opens parKIT, Washington, D.C.’s first-ever seasonal parklet

(Flickr/ aueagle2006)

(Flickr/ aueagle2006)

A new parklet has popped up in Washington D.C., and unlike the short-lived public spaces that appear in parking spaces for PARK(ing) Day, this one is sticking around until mid-October. The seasonal space, dubbed parKIT, opened on July 14 and takes over two parking spots.

More after the jump.

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