Wonky DC is known for boxy buildings. Aren't there any cool ones out there?
Gensler's Jordan Goldstein says he's fond of the Finnish Embassy on Mass Ave. The Finns eschewed the typical classic brick embassy design for a copper look, which Jordan likes since it aged and turned green. Coincidentally, it was the first green embassy in the US and won LEED Gold in 2010. Other designs Jordan digs: the Brazilian Embassy (just down the street from the Finns), as well as the newly delivered Boilermaker building at The Yards in Southeast, a factory during both World Wars that now includes the wildly popular Bluejacket Brewery.
Shalom Baranes has shown some edginess in lots of his DC designs like CityCenter, CityMarket at O, and soon, Burnham Place at Union Station. But he tells us he's a fan of fellow starchitect Suzane Reatig's work, including the design seen here at 625 Rhode Island Ave. The colorful apartment building won two AIA DC awards last year.
David M. Schwarz's Gregory Hoss points to the grand Art Deco design of Penn Theater near Eastern Market. The building, constructed in 1935 but renovated several times over the years, now serves as mixed-use, and Gregory says the building stands out since it shows three different personalities: the Art Deco facade seen here on Pennsylvania Ave, a red-brick facade that faces C Street, and a modern courtyard in between. (Having multiple personalities is so popular, many politicians have tried it, depending on their audience.)
Your DC reporter loves this unique design at 1077 31st St in Georgetown, which serves as the DC HQ for German TV station ZDF. It's a refreshing, modern change-up to the standard brick rowhouses of the neighborhood. What's your favorite funky design in DC? Email Chris Baird with your picks and we'll publish more in a future issue.