Thursday, February 16, 2012

A Few Quick Items: CFA Meeting on L'Enfant Plaza Design, GSA Looking for Deals in SW, Another Critic of Eisenhower Memorial Design


The Commission of Fine Arts will be considering the concept designs today of one of the proposed office buildings and the glass entryway to the retail pavilion planned at L'Enfant Plaza.  The proposed office building will be located along Frontage Road and 9th Street while the glass entryway will be in the plaza. These buildings are only a few of the changes planned for L'Enfant Plaza.  More information on the renovation can be found here.

Rendering courtesy of SmithGroup


In this week's Capital Business, there was a snippet about Southwest in an article about the GSA's pending deal with Donald Trump to redevelop the Old Post Office as a luxury hotel.  From the article:
[Commissioner of the GSA's Public Buildings Service Robert] Peck said further development may come in available space on the south side of the National Mall. He said he is working with the National Capital Planning Commission to "create some building sites" there.
Perhaps he's referring to the four GSA parcels along the Maryland Avenue corridor as recommended in the Maryland Avenue Small Area Plan Draft?  What about the Department of Energy's Forrestal Complex?

Illustration courtesy of the Office of Planning

Another critique of Gehry's Eisenhower Memorial design, this time from architect and urban planner Leon Krier in Metropolis Magazine.  Krier has several qualms with the design and process, organizing his critique with the following sub-headlines: Provocation Engendering Protest, Cost of Competition, Cost of Monument, Meaning of the Monuments, Size of the Monument, Character of Context, and Style of Architecture.  From the article: 
Vocally critical, even disgusted by modernist art and architecture, if Eisenhower was apparently upset about the Air Force Academy Chapel by Skidmore, Owings and Merrill, how distraught must he have been with the brave new world taking command over the Southwest quadrant. Yet that is precisely the architectural context the Memorial Commission elects as location and Mr. Gehry respects and emulates in scale, style, proportion and character: a straight, undiluted old fashioned modernism.  In my opinion his expressionist design formulae would yet effect a welcome respite from the debilitating boredom of the area.
The memorial will be located in front of the Department of Education headquarters at Independence Avenue between 6th Street and 4th Street. Maryland Avenue runs through the site.

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