Wednesday, June 22, 2016

International Spy Museum to Open in L'Enfant Plaza in 2018

Preliminary site work started this month on the new International Spy Museum. By spring 2018, the museum will relocate from Penn Quarter to L’Enfant Plaza on a site fronting 10th Street. The new International Spy Museum will occupy 140,000 SF, much larger than the current facility and will allow for three levels of permanent exhibition space in addition to event space. A museum store and lobby will be located on the first floor. Part of the design includes a transparent “veil” which will allow people on 10th Street to see activity inside of the museum. JBG has partnered with the International Spy Museum on the project and has been designed by Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners. Hickok Cole is the architect of record. 

JBG came before the ANC last week to get their support for doing foundation work in the parking garage during evening hours. The developer also wanted support for closing off an area in front of 10th Street for construction staging. Both requests for support were granted, although the ANC wanted JBG to report back to the commissioners if additional late work requests are needed. 

L’Enfant Plaza has been revamped in recent years, including a renovation of the retail center with new restaurants and stores and two renovated office buildings. Meanwhile, the L’Enfant Plaza Hotel is currently closed for renovations. The foundation and loading dock for a new office building was built in 2015 by JBG, but the rest of the building won’t be completed until an anchor tenant is secured.

The new museum will be located just a couple blocks south of the National Mall and will contribute to the revitalization of 10th Street, a wide, but forlorn stretch between the Smithsonian Castle and Banneker Overlook. A revitalized 10th Street was part of the SW Ecodistrict plan, which was developed by the National Capital Revitalization Commission for a multi-block area south of the National Mall and north of the Southwest freeway. The area is currently dominated by federal office space, but the plan calls for mixed use, sustainable development, as well as the reintroduction of Maryland Avenue and other streets.  

Rendering courtesy of Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners


AMK said...

Hope JBG plans to do further work on the exteriors of the existing L'Enfant Plaza buildings. The new modern entryways that they've added onto the dated concrete buildings looks bizarre and disjointed, like a mashup of mismatched buildings. Lipstick on a pig.

Architectural Critic said...

I'm pleased that the additional office building on the plaza between the museum and the hotel I've seen in other renderings appears to have been abandoned.

Anonymous said...

The two additional office buildings haven't been abandoned, they're just dormant (like the L'Enfant southeast office building) since the office market is similarly dormant.