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Report of the Old Georgetown Board to the Commission of Fine Arts

20 March 2014

OG 14–055 (HPA 14–080)
3700 O Street, NW
(Square 1321, Lot 827)
Georgetown University
New construction – residence hall
(Reviewed: 5 Dec. 2013 – OG 14–011; 4 Sept. 2013; 3 July 2013 – OG 13–249)

REPORT: In July 2013, Georgetown University submitted a concept proposal for a new eight−story residence hall to be located in the northeast quadrant of the main campus. The Old Georgetown Board (OGB) questioned the planning process that led to the identification of the site for development. The OGB considered the site to be problematic given that the adjacent deteriorated Reiss Science building was impacting the design and it was the only building on campus that was not constructed on the orthogonal grid; in addition, the new residence hall site was not consistent with the University's 2010 master plan.

In September 2013, Georgetown University presented background on the site selection process. The OGB commented that the chosen site did not yield the greatest number of new beds on campus—seemingly, the driving force behind the proposal; the OGB also requested that the site be considered within a larger spatial campus plan.

The following December, the OGB reviewed a modified concept proposal for the eight–story residence hall at the northeast quadrant, expressing support for the mass but questioning a series of design elements: the entrance, the glazed base, projecting windows at the top, and the extensive terracing around the site.

In March 2014, the Board approved a revised concept design and raised concerns about secondary elements including the height of the stone piers, the thin beltcourse, the slot–like windows, paving, and lighting. The OGB also recommended further study of the entries to strengthen the impression of reception and entry into the building's common first−floor spaces, suggesting a loggia as a possible means of developing the building's relationship to the campus path.

RECOMMENDATION: No objection to concept design for new residential dormitory in the northeast quadrant of the campus as shown in drawings dated 11 March 2014. Recommend further development of the entrances, proportions of windows, and site elements.

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Last Modified: March 28, 2014