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1412 I Street Northwest
Washington, DC, 20005
United States

(202) 333-4480

With a professional working relationship spanning three decades, Gary F Martinez FAIA and Thomas E Johnson FAIA founded Martinez+Johnson Architecture in 1994 to bring their design sensitivities to institutional and cultural projects in urban locations. The 25-architect firm has since established an expertise in three main architectural areas – the restoration and adaptive reuse of historic structures, institutional buildings in urban areas and community settings, and the design and planning of performing arts venues.

Known for a thoughtful design approach to public facilities, M+J develops an intimate understanding of the needs of users, patrons, and operators destined to inhabit the projects of the firm. M+J looks to the future in their design aesthetic even when the context may be firmly rooted in the past and executes creative solutions to facilities both new and historic, where flexibility, ease of operation, and high but versatile performance characteristics are requisite. Venues express aspirational values and goals of the communities within which they are located, and at the same time conform to issues of economic value at the highest levels of environmental sustainability.

Cady's Alley

 

cady's alley

washington, dc


The project, organized along a 19th century alley, was conceived as gallery space, design oriented retail, and residential apartments. As an extension of the Georgetown commercial experience, using both scale and materials - the project is designed to express its own unique identity in a well-established area of Washington, DC.

 

Opportunity

Cady’s Alley, created as “design center west,” utilizes thirteen separate existing structures to establish a western gateway into Washington, DC from the Key Bridge. The project organized along a 19th century alley occupies most of a block of historic Georgetown and was conceived as gallery space, design oriented retail, and residential.  The center is a part of a joint development effort contributing to neighborhood revitalization of what had been an underutilized and generally run-down portion of the Georgetown streetscape.

 

Creation

The majority of the buildings began as two-story row structures fronting on M Street, the main retail spine in Georgetown, with a common rear property line on historic Cady’s Alley, a full level below.  The rear appendages of the buildings were removed and replaced with contextual new construction that created frontage for the alley as well as a meaningful public space that orients the entire development.  At the center of the block, M+J inserted an open passageway through one of the smaller existing buildings on M Street leading to a small courtyard open to the alley.  The passageway draws pedestrian activity off of M Street into a mews environment. Offices and retail shops line the alley, increasing pedestrian traffic and establishing the alley itself with a sense of place.

The design concept acknowledges the light industrial design of the surrounding area.  It incorporates appropriately scaled and detailed lintel elements over large windows and a mixture of masonry and natural stone materials for the infill structure.  As an extension of the Georgetown retail experience, in both scale and material the project is designed to express its own unique identity in a well-established area of Washington. The facility is the centerpoint of a larger urban design initiative, connecting the alley to three other adjacent mixed use developments.  Four architecture firms worked in collaboration on the larger concept which received a national AIA award for Urban Design.  M+J’s project also won a Washington, DC AIA award for architectural merit.


Owner: eastbanc c/o anthony m lanier

Completion: 2002

Size: 65,000SF

Cost: $22M

Awards: 2002 AIA  |  DC – Catalyst Award

2004 AIA National Award – Outstanding Achievement in Urban Design

2005 Potomac Chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects – Merit Award

2008 Brick in Architecture Award – Best In Class

 
 
THE BLOCK-LONG ALLEY, FORMERLY A WASTELAND, HAS BEEN TRANSFORMED INTO A SOPHISTICATED, LIVELY URBAN LANE.

IN THIS BUILDING BOOM OF A CITY...WHAT HAS BEEN DONE IN CADY’S ALLEY CAN SERVE AS A MODEL IN SEVERAL RESPECTS.

THE ARCHITECTURE IS FRESH, VARIED AND UP-TO-DATE THE INDIVIDUAL PIECES ARE CONNECTED IN WAYS THAT ARE WELCOMING AND MAKE SENSE THE PLANNING RIGHT FROM THE GET GO WAS COMPLEX AND COMPREHENSIVE.

- Benjamin Forgey | Washington Post | March 2007
 
 
 

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