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The Latest Iteration of the Georgetown Exxon Condo Project

by Lark Turner

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Georgetown Hillside

After getting input from the Old Georgetown Board (OGB) and the local ANC, EastBanc’s submitted yet another iteration of its design for proposed condos on the site of an Exxon Mobil station in Georgetown. The Georgetown Hillside project, which the company is working on in collaboration with Handel Architects, was last seen looking different in scores of options. The developers were offering designs to respond to requests to break up the massing of the proposed long, low building for 3607 M Street NW (map).

In it latest proposal, EastBanc also includes a rendering of what the building will look like to neighbors who live on the hill above the development. This vantage point is crucial, because the height of the buildings and its impact on neighbors’ view is one of the main drivers of opposition to the 27-unit building.

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In response to comments on its last round of designs, EastBanc went with one that breaks up the facade more clearly into three separate parts. Then the developer played around with different materials for the facade, including gray stone and metal.

Here are the three options included in the latest submission:

Scheme A:

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Scheme B:

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Scheme C:

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This article originally published at http://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/still_more_renderings_and_details_on_eastbancs_georgetown_hillside_project/8526

2 Comments

  1. skidrowedc@gmail.com said at 1:04 pm on Friday May 23, 2014:

    The switch to stone is a HUGE improvement. With this one move, there’s now a sense of relationship to the context, a sense of handcrafting, and a middle scale of detail.  One could also reasonably hope for some color variation, including some warmer, less grey colors, mimicking the variety found on the Exorcist Wall or the adjacent former trolley building. 

    I would vote for Option A because it seems like an orthogonally-fractal outgrowth of the Exorcist Wall.  The other schemes, which interpose a metal panel element between the Wall and the front part of the building, lose this feeling.  The stone becomes just another way to skin the building, instead of something integral to the essence of the building.

    I still think the general design draws too heavily from Northern European models—not necessarily a problem except that this is Georgetown, Washington DC USA—what’s the relevance?  And I still think it needs more details at medium and medium-small scale. The stone offers opportunities for middle-scale manipulation or even ornamentation.  Remember, architects: H.H. Richardson drew every stone in his facades, purposely manipulating patterns, colors, and sizes to guide the viewer’s eye across his facades.  You don’t have to leave the specifics to the stonemason, even with irregular stone.

    In America, we balance communitarian interests against the freedom of individual expression. At this point, although I would hope for further development of the design, I would greenlight the project.

  1. Brett said at 3:09 pm on Thursday August 28, 2014:

    Everything Eastbanc builds is a drab, bland box.  This one clearly doesn’t fit in with the rest of the historic M St corridor, but Eastbanc is so stubborn about building its boxes. Hopefully this project too will be rejected.

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