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Frustrations Toward Zoning Laws, Horizontal City Persists

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Earlier this week, the D.C. Zoning Commission finally approved plans for a 154,000-square-foot expansion to the International Finance Corporation's (IFC) office building at 2100 K St. NW. The original 135-foot-wide sloping rooftop embellishment was denied and a flat roof had to be used due to the original design's violation of the federal Height Act. With this denial, this frustrated not only the developers on the project, but some on the Zoning Commission, itself.

Architect of the project, Shalom Baranes, has had a history of frustrations with the Zoning Commission with any attempt to "add a touch of skyline diversity" denied. He said "We have a very horizontal city and we should be thinking about the skyline. We should be thinking about ways of improving it…"

Commission Chairman Anthony Hood approved of Baranes' original design, saying, "I'm very disappointed. I don't know if I agree with a proposed design with no embellishment. The roof with no embellishment to me looks kind of flat."

On the other hand, Commissioner Michael Turnbull positively described the flat design as "clean" and "classic."

For now, the expansion to the Class A office building will be developed by Blake Real Estate. IFC will lease the new building for 40 years with the option to buy after 20 years.
· Zoning Commission OKs flat Shalom Baranes design for 2100 K [WBJ]
· Shalom Baranes shaves sloping rooftop from 2100 K design [Washington Business Journal]
· Top D.C. Architect: City Skyline Is Boring, and It's Not Our Fault [City Paper]
- Michelle Goldchain