Saturday, May 18, 2019

here's the new HPO staff report for the 1600 North Capitol Street NW development project on the Joe Mamo lot

Here you go:


Florida & Q Street LLC, with plans prepared by Bonstra/Haresign Architects, seeks on-going conceptual design review for construction of a six-story building on a vacant site in the Bloomingdale Historic District at the intersection of Florida Avenue, Q Street and North Capitol facing the former location of Truxton Circle.   

In March, the Board found the concept generally compatible with the character of the Bloomingdale Historic District, but that the design should be revised and simplified.  The Board cited the central tower, the crown element, the colors of the materials (especially at the top set back floor), and the overall busyness of the design as areas that should be evaluated for revision.  The Chair recommended that the design continue to be refined in consultation with HPO and less than a quorum of the Board and return for further review when ready.

Revised Proposal 
As before, the plans call for a six-story, V-shaped building massed with equal-sized wings facing North Capitol and Florida Avenue meeting at a rounded entrance tower facing the intersection.  The sixth floor on each side of the entrance tower would be set back from the main mass.  The building would be clad primarily in red brick with polychrome brick accent bands and articulated with bay projections. 

In response to suggestions in the HPO report adopted by the Board, as well as those made in a meeting with less than a quorum of the Board, the design has been revised to simplify the crown element on the central tower, the framing elements in the tower have been given greater depth and articulation, the belt course at the second floor has been lowered to the first floor, the continuous belt courses at the fifth and sixth levels have been eliminated, the coloration of the sixth floor and projecting bays modified to warmer earth tones, at-risk windows introduced on the side elevations, and the garage door redesigned to allow for a community mural.  

Evaluation 
The revisions are responsive to the Board’s direction and successful in improving the compatibility of the design.  The lowering of the belt course and simplification of the brick detailing at the top give the building a stronger vertical emphasis, and the redesign of the corner tower gives the element greater shadow and depth and a more timeless crowning element.  The garage door mural provides an opportunity to introduce a neighborhood identifying element; it is encouraged that this be developed with input from the community. 

Recommendation 
The HPO recommends that the Review Board find the revised concept compatible with the character of the Bloomingdale Historic District, and to delegate final approval to staff.



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