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The building is too boxy, heavy, suburban, and too reminiscent of the FBI building (the massively heavy overhang aboe the entrance). Consider adding curves, more height and material weight variations, and more break-downs of the façade. At present, it looks like a giant stainless cube – and makes ZERO attempt to relate or respect the DC Water pumping station next door. Nothing about this says anything about the Navy Yard neighborhood. This box could be located anywhere. Believe me, we LOVE modern – just not suburban modern. Needs some character, badly – because right now it looks like it’s in the middle of a huge parking lot in Loudoun County. Our ask: break up the massing of the building using a variety of materials, green walls, and lighting features. It doesn’t have to look so square and flat.
2. We like modern – but right now there is WAY too much silver colored metal. We encourage you to incorporate more “industrial” and “natural” materials: steal, wood, glass, concrete. This lends a human scale, relatability, and sense of closeness to the river that is completely missing from current designs.
3. Replace light panels with Green Walls. We have had nothing but bad experiences with light panels and light features in this neighborhood. Not to lump you all in with that – but these panels looks tacked on. Would MUCH rather see some awesome green walls on this building to hide and add visual interest to the bulk of the building. A mix of lighting elements and green walls could be interesting as well – if executed in a way that looks meaningful.
4. Also, re: light panels… if keep them At All – please consider transferring their placement so MORE are on the pedestrian level. They’re no fun if you can’t stand in front of a bunch of them and take pictures. (Also consider making panels smaller so they can reflect more colors.)
5. Consider adding signage that screams “movie theater” and that will be “iconic” (no pun intended) for years to come.
6. The retail spaces should be better defined, not just part of the same huge mass of the building. Also, consider adding retail on 1 ½ Street SE. We should not be losing the game to Angelika Film Center in Fairfax County.
(Angelika Film Center in the Mosaic District)
7. Move vehicle entrances and exist to the south and east faces of the building, away from the primary pedestrian sides of the building. Besides “security”, we still have not heard good arguments for why this is not already happening. We would also like to know why there are two parking entrances, instead of just one. The parking entrance on 1 ½ Street seems especially unfortunate, as that is the main pedestrian drag to Diamond Teague Park and the river.
8. Also, re: parking. There is concern that this building will be overparked. So much of the bulk of this building is parking – and, knowing what happened at DC USA, there is a fear that the spaces will sit empty – and money that could have gone to other more visible improvements will go to what amounts to a giant windowless parking structure.
9. Landscaping and hardscaping around the building should be diverse and interesting… not just “plaza” …. Show us something we haven’t seen before. Again, right now Angelika is winning this game.