Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Skyland Town Center Update

This is why I love Torti Gallas, the architecture firm behind this project, as well as places like Kenyon Square in Columbia Heights, the Ellington on U Street, the Shirlingon extension, and Bethesda Row. They get it.

looking north on Main Street

looking south on Main Street

looking north on Main, from a different spot

looking east from Good Hope Road

Sure, it took a lot of prodding at multiple community meetings, but what we have here is, for the most part, exactly the kind of design that people really enjoy living in and around. Why is it that so many developers, in their effort to stand out, forget that human-scaled architecture with personality expressed through thoughtful detailing is what the average consumer craves?

You might say: "these designs look dated, everyday, too normal." (and admittedly, some of the buildings could probably still use a little spicing up) I'm all for daring design, and definitely think that it has its place ...but if a certain design style or aesthetic comfortability remains successful over the years, and people continue to invest themselves in it, something's being done right.

images courtesy of the Skyland website


Hannah said...

whoooooooo aesthetics!!

also, i like how in the drawing the green trees mystically meld into the bricks.

Anonymous said...

Does anyone have an idea of when construction will finally start? This project has been a long drawn out process that has take 4ever to materialize!!!

Last i heard, many of the land owners refused to sell their property. Has this changed?

David Garber said...

I am wondering the same thing, as the only update we've really had for a year is new renderings. I have a status update email in to the developers, and will be sure to report what I hear.

Hannah said...

p.s. when i worked at the lobbying firm I did projects on environment/green stuff and part of it was looking into the tourism industry and finding out which hotels had LEED standards. you love LEED?

Mutt said...

yeah, they get it, but does it HAVE to be an exact replica of columbia heights? what about hinting/paying a little homage to some of the historic architecture of anacostia? Love the outdoor areas, but I'm awwwwwwwning at the architecture.

Anonymous said...

Yeah... not a fan of Tori Gallas either. They made stacks of money in the 90s with HOPE VI projects (and a staff member there once tried to convince me it was public service--I mean, seriously, it's government contract work no differnt than building the damn wall on the US/Mexico border!) and have never been a fan of that nostalgic, [so called] new urbanist aethetic. And I agree that they could have incorporated more local elements.