Monday, July 28, 2008

Modernism In Your Neighborhood : Columbia Heights

Modernism appears in places where you would least expect it. This happening gives neighborhoods a special spark of interest. This example appears on the block directly behind the new Target store in Columbia Heights. The block is a quiet one, lined with a grid of varied classic townhouse typologies. A row of simple 1920's two story porch front federals anchors one side, while mid-sized Victorian walk-ups are on the other. Tall trees soften the block of varied rooflines and jagged angled bayfronts. Slammed in between all of these variations on the block is a brand new townhouse scaled condo building. Its large bay cantilevers over the street front. Its overscaled glazing makes this dominating element reflect the trees, giving it more transparency. It's reflections allow it to blend with the surroundings. It is a simple design that uses the odd angles of the lot and surrounding buildings to it's advantage. This is what gives the architecture it's dynamism. The roofline thrusts outwards to give a dramatic overhang. This is a play off of the neighboring buildings' prominent cornice lines. It is still a very modern aesthetic for a classic block, but by taking cues from the historic architectures, it respects the existing history while exuding a contrasting modernism in it's own right.

No comments:

Post a Comment