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Eastbanc Plans Bold Design For Georgetown Project

by Lark Turner

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Paula Rego Museum by Eduardo Souto de Moura. Photo by Luis Ferreira Alves.

Eastbanc is planning to build a residential building or hotel at 2715 Pennsylvania Avenue NW (map), currently the site of an Exxon station, and the design will likely push the envelope for the tony neighborhood as the firm brought on Portuguese architect Eduardo Souto de Moura to work on the project.

At a recent meeting chronicled by the Georgetowner, Eastbanc President Anthony Lanier reportedly asked residents to have “an open mind” about the presumably bold design for the project, which has not yet been finalized, and mentioned that the company paid “the highest price paid for land in D.C.” for the property. A representative at Eastbanc initially said that wasn’t true, then declined to provide further comment on the price.

Eastbanc’s Philippe Lanier told UrbanTurf that the company has not finalized what the plans will be for the address.

“We are considering all options, from condo to rental to hotel,” he said. “It’s early in the design phase.”

But Lanier did confirm that de Moura was the architect selected to work on the site. He is a 2011 Pritzker Prize laureate. At the time the head of the prize’s jury, Peter Palumbo, said de Moura’s buildings “have a unique ability to convey seemingly conflicting characteristics—power and modesty, bravado and subtlety, bold public authority and a sense of intimacy—at the same time.”

Here are some more previous projects by de Moura:

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Photos by Luís Ferreira Alves

See other articles related to: georgetown, eduardo souto de moura, eastbanc, anthony lanier

This article originally published at http://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/eastbanc_plans_bold_design_for_georgetown_project/9211

8 Comments

  1. Nathaniel Martin said at 4:27 pm on Wednesday November 12, 2014:

    Souto de Moura’s designs tend to be very minimalist—some I find elegant, some a little boring.  Regardless, I seriously doubt that he would propose anything excessively elaborate for this site.  In other words, it will likely be something modern and unobtrusive—something that should fit in comfortably (even if the reactionaries in Georgetown will likely be up in arms).

  1. Jay said at 12:11 am on Thursday November 13, 2014:

    Ugggggh These people should be banned to Rosslyn or Pentagon City. Put the modern designs out there. Keep the charm and character of the neighborhood. The gas station looks better than any of the crap these “architects” are designing. What looks “new” and “refreshing” or “modern” now will look so dated in 10-15 years. Prob sooner.

  1. Jay said at 12:14 am on Thursday November 13, 2014:

    Upon further study of their past designs I’m fondly reminded of my favorite cheesy 70’s sci-fi television programs like Buck Rogers in the 25th Century, Logan’s Run or Battlestar Galactica. Those shows were cancelled after 1 or 2 seasons. These architects should be too.

  1. HouseguyDC said at 11:21 am on Thursday November 13, 2014:

    Why are you using “architects” with sarcasta-quotes?  I don’t “think” you “know” what those “words” “mean”. 

    Things can look new, refreshing, and modern now and look dated in a decade.  “New, refreshing, and modern” isn’t meant to be “timeless”. 

    It’s also pretty “funny” you’re talking about keeping the “charm” of the neighborhood while simultaneously mentioning the charming gas station and totally ignoring charming 80s monstrosity of Georgetown Park.

  1. skidrowedc@gmail.com said at 2:20 pm on Thursday November 13, 2014:

    This is certainly a most unexpected pairing of architect and site!  And program—de Moura’s portfolio is mostly minimally-programmed buildings like galleries and cultural centers, whereas the uses Lanier lists are high on program.  But I remain optimistic until and unless proposed design drawings suggest otherwise.  The Four Seasons, directly across the street, not only proves that non-traditional design can work in Georgetown, it can be luxurious and a landmark in its own right.

    It is disappointing, however, that Lanier isn’t even trying the local architectural talent.  DC has so much, but with so few clients willing to seriously explore.

  1. used_karma said at 12:00 pm on Sunday November 16, 2014:

    Our firm looked at this site a while back for a different developer. Not only does it have historic oversight from the Old Georgetown Board and HPRB, but it borders parkland and will undergo review by the Park Service. Add in a weird split zone condition running through the middle of the existing building and site and this project has years and years of entitlements ahead of it. Considering the fate of the Georgetown Apple store, I wish them the best of luck. I personally think that putting something cool and iconic on this site would be a coup, but there’s a lot of work ahead of anyone who is trying to accomplish this.

  1. EastGeoretowner said at 9:06 pm on Tuesday November 18, 2014:

    Lanier has done many good things for Georgetown, but his personal architectural tastes are far too avant garde and he pushes them on the community.  If everything in Georgetown were EastBanc developed (and we are getting close to that), we would have all iron and glass and modern design. There would be no classic Georgetown left, or at least seriously diminished. And to those who think that is “reactionary,” stop for a minute to consider that the architecture and history of Georgetown is a huge part of *American history*.  Generations from now, it will be sad that it was lost, and people will wonder why it was allowed to happen. The OGB deserves thanks for the work they do trying to protect it.

  1. Jay said at 4:52 pm on Tuesday March 24, 2015:

    @HouseguyDC Georgetown Park did a fantastic job of salvaging the facades of old buildings so it appears to blend in with the area. Yes—the hotel across the street from the gas station and other boring structures, which I’m sure were considered and praised by critics at the time as being “new, refreshing, and modern”, all look dated now as do a lot of the buildings on the waterfront especially the monstrosity that is the Washington Harbour complex. Think green…build something that is timeless that won’t have to be torn down in 20,30,40, or 50 years.

    By the way, I think the gas station is charming. It’s shame more gas stations throughout the city don’t look like that.

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