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Randall School Redevelopment Gets Thumbs Up From HPRB

by Shilpi Paul

Randall School Redevelopment Gets Thumbs Up From HPRB: Figure 1
Rendering of Randall School.

On Thursday, the response from the Historic Preservation Review Board when it came to the design for the massive Randall School redevelopment in Southwest was generally positive.

The plans, by Bing Thom Architects, encompass the vacant Randall School building and the surrounding space on a large lot at Half Street and I Street SW (map). As planned, a contemporary museum would go into the historic school building, and will also extend into an addition behind the existing building. To each side will be a restaurant and culinary education facility. A massive apartment complex with 550 units will go up on the northern portion of the site. The apartments will spread over several 12-story buildings. Underground parking completes the plan.

The apartment buildings are made of metal and glass, and are intended to recede behind the more dramatic school building. Some portions of the buildings are cantilevered, so people can walk underneath.

Randall School Redevelopment Gets Thumbs Up From HPRB: Figure 2
Early model of Randall School redevelopment. Photo courtesy of David Garber.

In addition to a portion of the museum that will be open to the community, a courtyard is planned in between the buildings. The designers are hoping that it will feel inviting and will be utilized by the public; one idea put forth to make that happen includes projecting movies and other visual art onto the exterior walls of the museum extension.

Some members of the Board felt that the ramps planned for the facade of the museum ruined the design, and that the cantilevering was “aggressive.” Others, however, were very excited about the design and the Board voted to adopt the staff report for the project, which can be found here.

The plans have been sent on to the Mayor’s Agent for approval, and the developers now need to go before the Zoning Commission.

See other articles related to: southwest, dclofts

This article originally published at http://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/more_details_on_the_500000-square-foot_randall_school_redevelopment/7259

6 Comments

  1. eponymous said at 9:47 pm on Friday June 28, 2013:
    Almost indescribably hideous. Reminds me of the UDC campus.
  1. Dno said at 12:40 am on Saturday June 29, 2013:
    I agree with eponymous. This thing is awful and reminiscent of the 60's superblock structures that dominate the quadrant. Projecting movies will not make the courtyard feel more inviting. I thought we were trying to learn from the mistakes of the past... The KIPP school would be a huge improvement over this.
  1. wd said at 6:40 pm on Sunday June 30, 2013:
    looks good to me and complements the mid-century SW architecture that many of us who live in SW love. There's a lot of demand down here for things to do and if they want to show movies and such, I'm sure they will attract crowds.
  1. adam said at 3:25 pm on Monday July 1, 2013:
    Something a bit better to look at while waiting in line for a DMV inspection....
  1. name said at 4:02 pm on Monday July 1, 2013:
    Rental Apartments? I guess for the poors because no one with money will want to live in such a building. Already a neighborhood in development, these apartments already look cheap with a lack of balconies and zero money invested in exterior detail.
  1. d.l.s. said at 1:40 pm on Tuesday July 2, 2013:
    I liked the first design he brought in much better. It may have been out there but at least it was creative not bland. Anyone could have designed this.

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