The Architecture of Shalom Baranes

by Calvin Manning

If you live in the DC area, you have probably seen some condos designed by Shalom Baranes Architects. The DC-based architecture firm has designed The Ventana in Penn Quarter, The Odyssey in Arlington, The Woodmont in Bethesda, 22 West in the West End and Langston Lofts in the U Street Corridor, just to name a few.

The firm’s style is anything but predictable, ranging from modern and contemporary for some projects to more traditional with regional aesthetics for others. Although its approach varies, the firm places a good deal of emphasis on historic preservation. In a 2005 interview in the Washington Business Journal, Baranes noted that “part of building a city [is that] you’re always building next to something that’s already been there.” Nowhere is that more true than Cityline at Tenley, one of their condo projects that was built on top of the old Sears building on Albemarle Street, NW (also the old Hechinger building).

Cityline at Tenley at 4101 Albemarle, NW (map)

A number of the firm’s residential projects included in this piece were designed by Robert M. Sponseller, a design principal at Shalom Baranes Architects. With these projects, Sponseller aimed to capture as much natural light for the tenant as possible by using large, expansive windows in the units. A perfect example of this is the two-bedroom condo below at The Odyssey. To buy a condo like this, you really have to like sunlight because the windows make up two walls resulting in a flood of natural light.

The Odyssey at 2001 North 15th St. in Arlington (map)

Another of the firm’s projects is the 92-unit 22 West. The 12-story development has a zinc and glass facade and there are floor-to-ceiling windows in every condo. The units range in size from 900 to 3,500 square feet, and the ceilings are designed so that there is space to rewire the home for cable and stereo if you want.

22 West at 1177 22nd, NW (map). Photo by NCinDC.

Below are examples of a few more of the firm’s residences.

Langston Lofts at 14th and V, NW (map)
The Adagio at Wisconsin and Bradley Blvd. in Bethesda (map)

See other articles related to: dclofts

This article originally published at http://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/the_architecture_of_shalom_baranes/825


  1. ArchitectureFiend said at 10:29 am on Thursday April 23, 2009:

    I LOVE the buildings designed by Shalom Baranes! Man is a genius.

  1. aj said at 10:44 am on Thursday April 23, 2009:

    floor to ceiling windows might allow for a lot of daylight and views but they also render the building significantly less energy efficient than could be. even with ‘high performance’ windows that deflect solar heat gain, glass is a poor thermal insulator. you lose your heat in winter and gain it in summer. these buildings may look pretty, but they sacrifice performance for those looks.

  1. Adam Gallegos said at 11:29 am on Thursday April 23, 2009:

    I have to disagree with the above comment about the windows sacrificing too much energy.  The windows do a great job of allowing the home owner to use natural light rather than flipping a switch.  They do an adequate job of retaining heat in the winter and filtering in the summer.  I have a listing at the Odyssey right now (2 bedroom / 2 bath) where the monthly utility bills average $56.  http://www.arbourrealty.com/2001_N_15th_StSuite_1201.htm

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