The Best Design Coming in 2015: Atlantic Plumbing

by Lark Turner

The Best Design Coming in 2015: Atlantic Plumbing: Figure 1

UrbanTurf usually stays away from publishing rankings or lists…except at the end of the year when we look back at the best that DC’s residential real estate scene had to offer during the previous 12 months. So, this week, we are looking at not only the best, but the most intriguing and peculiar things that came across our radar over the course of the past year.

As the market shifted slightly from rentals to condos in 2014, several area developers decided to switch buildings planned as apartments over to for-sale units. On its Atlantic Plumbing project, designed by New York-based architect Morris Adjmi, JBG made the decision to turn the smaller, 65-unit building at 2030 8th Street (map) into condos. The companion project is a larger, 310-unit apartment building with 19,000 square feet of retail at 2112 8th Street (map).

The Best Design Coming in 2015: Atlantic Plumbing: Figure 2

Together, UrbanTurf thinks that the Atlantic Plumbing project offers the best design for a large residential project that will be completed in 2015, and we talked to Adjmi about his vision for the project. He said that some of the design inspiration came during a three-hour NYC to DC Acela trip.

“I was taking the train down, and I thought a lot about this relationship that also existed on the site at the time; there were buildings overgrown by vines, in particular trumpet vines were taking over a little brick building,” he said. “I wove all that together with this industrial language. My initial feeling was try to create something that was new and fresh, but still had its roots in industrial architecture.”

The larger, 2112 building takes its shape from industrial X-braces that cover the facade. The smaller 2080 building offers residents wall-to-wall, floor-to-ceiling glass.

The Best Design Coming in 2015: Atlantic Plumbing: Figure 3

Adjmi said his team worked specifically to avoid a repetitive pattern in DC architecture: alternating, projecting bays.

“The feature of a lot of the DC residential buildings that we tried not to embrace was projecting bays, which you see everywhere,” Adjmi said. “Often times you see this regular rhythm, and the effect of that is you get these alternating stripes on the buildings, and I think architects try to create what seems to be a difference between those. Avoiding that trap enabled us to look at the building in a different way.”

The Best Design Coming in 2015: Atlantic Plumbing: Figure 4

Finishes on both the condo and the rental building are modern and industrial, though as expected, Adjmi said the condo has more refined finishes — as well as show-stopping living rooms dominated by glass.

“It’s almost like you’ve just ripped the whole side of the building off,” he said. “By overlaying this factory-like grid on the windows, it still feels like the space is enclosed, and that makes it feel more human. It gives the building scale and it helps to define the space.”

The Best Design Coming in 2015: Atlantic Plumbing: Figure 5

The rectangular apartment building is characterized by the X braces comprising the facade, Adjmi explained.

“The bracing gives it scale and it also relates to these industrial buildings that I was fascinated with,” he said. “They have a simplicity of organization.”

See other articles related to: morris adjmi, jbg, best of 2014, atlantic plumbing

This article originally published at https://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/best_new_development_in_2014_jbgs_atlantic_plumbing/9329


  1. skidrowedc@gmail.com said at 9:34 pm on Wednesday December 17, 2014:
    It should be noted that Mr. Adjmi’s firm is the Design Architect, working with local firm Eric Colbert & Associates as the Architect of Record. An Architect of Record is responsible to work out the details and specifications, obtain permits, oversee the GC, and a multitude of other things. Many of the best projects have this type of two-architect arrangement, a recognition that higher-aspiration design requires expertise on multiple levels. The design architect usually gets 99% of the glory, but the Architect of Record is equally critical to the success of the project.
  1. Brett said at 11:04 pm on Thursday December 18, 2014:
    Only in DC do bland boxes constitute good architecture...

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