The Atlantic Plumbing building at 8th and V is getting torn down and built back up again by The JBG Companies. They've retained architect Morris Adjmi from New York City to build not only a 310-unit apartment building at that site (the orange building with a criss-cross design), but also a smaller 65-unit building pictured at the foreground of the rendering. The smaller building might go condo or rental, but the big building will definitely be rentals on top with a ground floor presence that is sure to excite the people who who frequent the 9:30 Club right next door. One section of the ground floor will be devoted to a six-screen indie movie theater and another part is reserved for art studios that will likely be subsidized (so artists can actually afford them). There is also some extra space for more retail that could possibly include a bar or restaurant. All that is to be decided, but for now, let's dig into what they know for sure.
"It is very large," says architect Morris Adjmi of the 310-unit building, "and we tried to be really careful about creating something that had a very human scale on the ground. We're going to reclaim the bricks [from The Atlantic Plumbing building] to use on the ground level. That makes sense for a lot of reasons, one it is good to recycle and it is something that was of the site, but also the scale of the bricks and the size of them really work at the ground level." [See below the close-up of the bricks in the existing Atlantic Plumbing building.]
"The design of the overall building has a very large, almost muscular structure, which you can read from a distance. But once you get up to the building we wanted to create something that was pedestrian scale. We have a cantilever on two sides that create covered areas that can have sidewalk cafes and protect people when they're walking," adds Adjmi.
JBG chose Adjmi largely because of his work in New York with historic neighborhoods and landmark buildings. His work in New York's Meatpacking District and Williamsburg lent themselves to this type of project since they involved working with distinctly old neighborhoods known for a sepia-esque feel. Caitlin Leary, the project manager from JBG, says: "This neighborhood has an industrial vibe to it and that is a huge reason why we engaged Morris on this project. We really wanted to make an iconic building that looks like it could be part of the neighborhood for years and years. That's why we thought that Morris was a perfect fit for this job."
Despite the commitment to keeping things old school, they're bringing in a few green elements to keep the eco-hipsters happy. "There's a setback on the third floor and we're having a green terrace there as well as the entire roof has a variety of green spaces," says Adjmi. "We have little farm plots where people can grow herbs and vegetables. The building takes this post-industrial language and overlays this green component on top of it that is inspired by and derived by what is on the site now." They are also trying to figure out a way to keep some of the plant material that is there now and possibly replant it so it is a part of the final development.
A few more details:
· The windows on the apartments will be as large as possible so they feel like loft spaces.
· Both buildings will have a mix of one and two bedrooms (some with dens) and will have communal rooftop hangout space, but the smaller building will also have private rooftop places for the top floor units.
· The large building will have a rooftop pool (plus indoor amenities like gym, club, lounge, and movie screening area).
· Because of the incline of the land people should be able to see the Washington Monument and possibly the Capitol from the roof.
At the moment they hope to break ground in spring of 2013 and be completely finished twenty-two months later. The smaller building, 65 units, will be built first and is expected to be finished long before the 310-unit building, so leasing could start as early as the end of 2013 or beginning of 2014.
About those art studios (and how to get in line for one):
Originally the braintrust behind the project was trying to figure out a way to incorporate artists into the buildings—such as having them create a graffiti wall, for example—but that idea grew into finding a way to have artists working there full time. They have set aside 4,000 square feet on the ground level as art studios that will be open to the public. "The arrangement would be that they get these subsidized spaces and agree to have them open during the day. The idea is to extend the times when people are around the project so it isn't just a nighttime destination."
JBG is at the beginning stages of conceptualizing how they will lease out the subsidized spaces so for anyone interested the first step is get on their mailing list. Send an email to APArtistStudios@jbg.com and they will add you to the list. Once they have finalized the details they'll send an email blast with the news.
Images from The JBG Companies