A Look at the Proposed Anacostia Recreation Center

  • June 23rd 2021

by Nena Perry-Brown

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Rendering of proposed recreation center, from promenade. Click to enlarge.

The design for a large new recreation center in Anacostia is coming into focus. 

The DC Department of General Services and the Department of Parks and Recreation have commissioned a new rec center adjacent to Ketcham Elementary School. Architect DLR Group filed a conceptual review application with DC's Historic Preservation Review Board this week for the neighborhood amenity at 1929 15th Street SE (map). While it would be a public facility, it would also prioritize ease of access for the students at Ketcham.

Site plan for proposed rec center. Click to enlarge.

The proposed development would start with creation of a pedestrian promenade between the school and the recreation center, lined with seating and replacing the stretch of U Street that dead-ends at the site. 

An early-childhood playground and a playground for 5-12 year olds, both using biophilic and accessible design elements, would be interior to the site, followed by a multi-use play field or a field area surrounded by an exercise track and flanked with bleacher seating. The development would also include upgrades to Ketcham's outdoor classroom and fencing.

Rendering of proposed rec center, from 15th Street. Click to enlarge.

The rec center will include a gym, a fitness room, a demonstration kitchen, multipurpose rooms, locker rooms/restrooms, and a "technology lounge." The design of the building is intended to be "aspirational" and will primarily use wood veneer cladding with a brick base. Its massing will also slant downward to transition from the taller school and the rowhouses on the other side.

Bird's eye view of proposed rec center. Click to enlarge.
Bird's eye view of proposed rec center, with zoning variance. Click to enlarge.

The team may also decide to pursue a zoning variance to get relief from penthouse setback requirements, in which case the penthouse would extend above the gym. The site is also recommended for phased archaeological excavation prior to any new construction.

This article originally published at https://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/a-look-at-the-proposed-anacostia-recreation-center/18418.

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