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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.

Georgetown Library

Photos by jose valcarcel

 
 

Georgetown library

Washington, dc


The design objectives for the renovation and restoration were to provide a state-of-the-art library and learning facility that would meet the program needs of the 21st century user. Several reading rooms, computer labs, and community meeting spaces were designed to fit within the historic structure.

 

Opportunity

Set within the historic Georgetown community, the 76 year-old building significant damage when a fire tore through the structure in 2007, destroying the roof and significantly damaging many of the historic elements. To create a 21st century library, the Architects sought to reorganize and re-prioritize the various collections, create the spaces to accommodate the programs and operations, develop a new technology infrastructure, create a series of open spaces with clearly legible connections, provide natural light and linkages to the exterior, and look for sustainable design opportunities.

 

Creation

As a contributing structure to the Georgetown Historic District, the design for the library was subject to extensive reviews in its entitlement process. The design emerged through a series of public meetings and dialogue between the design team, the library, and the community. All parties recognized the importance of preserving both the historic building and its place as an academic center in the community. The design team ultimately looked to the building itself for design strategies. Old areas generated dramatic new spaces – making the basement a spacious lower level, recreating the historic terraces at the front and rear, and using the generous height in a new roof to develop a third floor with spectacular views. While maintaining minimal impact to the historic fabric, this allowed for the expansion of the building, accommodating the library program and allowing for new spaces such as a public meeting room. The third level now houses the Peabody reading room and historic collection, providing display/curatorial space in a controlled environment. Upon completion, the library is a truly modern building that is respectful of its history, a scholastic destination, and extremely well received by its community.


Owner: DC public library c/o chris wright

Completion: 2010

Size: 29,000SF

Cost: $19M

AWARDS: 2012 District of Columbia Mayors Award for Excellence in Historic Preservation

 
 
WHERE ONCE SAT A STRUCTURE CRIPPLED BY FIRE DAMAGE, WE WILL ERECT A STATE-OF-THE-ART FACILITY.

AS WE RAISE THE CUPOLA TODAY, WE SIGNIFY OUR PROGRESS IN RESURRECTING AND PRESERVING THIS HISTORIC ESTABLISHMENT FOR THE RESIDENTS OF THIS PROUD COMMUNITY.

- Cupola Raising Ceremony | (Former) Mayor Adrian Fenty Mayor, District of Columbia, 2007 - 2011
 
 
 

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