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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.

Takoma Park Library

 

Takoma Park Library

Washington, dc


Takoma Park Library has been serving the DC community since first opening in 1911. This significant building was a Carnegie-funded facility, set in a nationally registered historic district. In recent years, it became the goal of the DC Public Library (DCPL) system to restore and renovate many of its libraries, such that they can continue to meet the scholastic and cultural demands of the District’s residents.

 

Opportunity

As a part of a design/build team, M+J was asked to provide interior and exterior renovations for this historic structure. M+J, the DCPL, and supporting neighborhood groups worked together to create a comprehensive vision for the site, complete with initial design parameters.

 

Creation

M+J worked with the contractor to correct past renovation mistakes at the library as well as to propose and execute sensitive interventions, unearthing the character of the original library while transforming it into a contemporary academic center. These efforts included fabricating new chairs and tables resembling the originals and seamlessly integrating educational technology into the furniture and building. A skylight was opened up and restored, plaster and wood detailing rehab and recreated, and a new information/processing desk, modeled after a long lost one, was constructed. The rear rooms were restored and outfitted as an office and a children’s room. New light fixtures, cork flooring, and a finish palette were designed based on both modern academic technology and historic amenities. Perhaps the items of greatest impact include the demolition of the mid-century vestibule for the creation of a new stone structure resembling the original design while addressing current building and assembly codes, and the reinvigorated landscaping returning the grounds to their original layout and splendor.

The exterior design effort required a working relationship with the Historic Preservation Office in order to develop the most appropriate restoration scheme. The results exhibit both design and construction excellence and sensitivity to the neighborhood, the historic resource, the scholastic identity of the building, and the public space around the library.


Owner: DC Public library c/o chris wright

Completion: 2009

Size: 7,000SF

Cost: $1.95M

AWARDS: 2009 Committee of 100 on the Federal City – Vision Award

2009 Mid-Atlantic Construction – Best of 2009

2009 DC Mayors Award for Excellence in Historic Preservation – Excellence in Design: Restoration/Rehabilitation

 
 
THE RENOVATION IS A WONDERFUL EXAMPLE OF RETAINING HISTORICAL AUTHENTICITY WHILE AT THE SAME TIME OFFERING MODERN CONVENIENCES SUCH AS ADDITIONAL COMPUTERS, A CUTTING EDGE COLLECTION, ENHANCED MEDIA OFFERINGS, AND FURNITURE AND WIRING CONDUCIVE TO LAPTOP USAGE.

- DC Public Library
 
 
 

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