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1412 I Street Northwest
Washington, DC, 20005
United States

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.

DC Armory Repositioing

 

DC Armory Repositioning

Washington, DC


Martinez+Johnson Architecture assisted Braisford & Dunlavey (B&D) with a “repositioning” study of Washington DC’s Armory complex. Located within close proximity of a number of important active entertainment destinations, the owner (Washington Convention and Sports Authority) commissioned this study so that they might ultimately transform this under-used facility into a center capable of capitalizing upon DC’s changing demographics, excellent public transportation systems, and conduit for travelling entertainment product and events.

 

Opportunity

B&D thoroughly evaluated the market from a variety of viewpoints and projected the viability of different uses and management strategies. With input from Arts City Enterprises (ACE), a national operator of performance facilities, M+J explored how the physical parameters of the building and its presentation area might be transformed. The greatest attribute as well as the greatest challenge of the DC Armory is its size, both in floor area and volume. The building envelope is largely defined by one central room, the drill floor (the hall), over 80 feet high at its center and measuring 80,000 SF with a deck area of over 70,000 SF.

 

Creation

The space was ultimately shown to be large enough to be conducive to a wide variety of events with open space around the building to facilitate loading, receiving, and other building operations. Various space utilization schemes were tested, ranging from basketball, tennis camps and indoor football, to trade shows and concerts. The National Guard will continue to have a presence here. At the end of the study, WCSA was presented with scaled drawings showing how the hall can play host to any number of these events. An improved seating study was conducted, as well as recommendations on how to improve the exterior of the building as a way of better attracting and accommodating patrons. The design study addressed the challenges of revitalizing the armory, including connecting it to vibrant downtown Washington DC (and its retail, office, and hotel core), enriching the immediate public experience both inside and outside the facility, and dealing with the large scale of the drill floor. Other building concerns were either operational (loading and receiving, scheduling multiple users, etc) or about infrastructure (heating and cooling, performance systems, multiple configuration seating).


Owner: Events DC c/o Erik Moses, Senior Vice President & Managing Director

Study Completion: 2010

Size: 200,000SF

Cost: TBD

 
 
 
 
 

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