Well, it’s still not Healy: Architects unveil new design to unsatisfied students at forum
At the Northeast Triangle forum last night, Sasaki architects Katia Lucic and Ricardo Dumont unveiled the updated proposal for Georgetown’s next dorm, the original plans which, for some of you, nearly matched Lau’s status as a scar of ugliness on Georgetown’s campus. The two principal architects discussed and fielded questions on the new design, in response to the brutal student commentary from the July forum.
The Northeast Triangle forum is a manifestation of the contentious Campus Plan, which requires Georgetown to house 90 percent of the undergraduate population on campus by 2025. The evening’s presentation explained why the sliver of green across from Reiss is the ideal location for adding 223 beds, inching towards the 385-bed-by-2015 commitment. The University’s goal is to move the concentration of beds on campus from Main Campus (Harbin, VCE, VCW, New South, Village A) to four separate quadrants. The Triangle dorm will add beds to the northernmost quadrant.
Before revealing the improved design, Lucic shared the feedback from the previous forum, where students rated buildings around campus to help the architects find direction. The Hariri Building drew the most positive comments, as it combined both a classic collegiate style and a modern interior. The ICC received less love, as seen in this memorable comment: “Not again…Never again.” The Triangle was labeled as “not Georgetown” and “needs more grass.” Vox could definitely get behind more grass on campus.
The architects combined the feedback into three points of improvement for the design: connection of past and future, more open space, and innovation. Lucic explained how the building’s new design fulfilled these criteria. In order to cement the connection between the past and the future, the architects emphasized the use of special building materials. Limestone and carderrock, a local stone found on White Gravenor and Copley Hall, will be featured in order to hearken to the classic style of the front quad.
Backyards will be located on the second, seventh, and eighth floors to provide more open space. According to Lucic, “intimate and ceremonial green terraces” will give students ample room to gambol about. The green roof will be continued on part of the seventh floor so that residents can enjoy a domesticated plant that will absorb rainwater and help lower the building’s temperature.
As for the last point, innovation, Dumont said, “[The first floor will be] an active floor with lots of student life and vitality.” There will be multipurpose rooms, lounges, and a media wall. The building will also provide indoor bike storage with a 100-bicycle capacity.
During the question period, Greg Miller (SFS’ 14) inquired as to bike accessibility through the high-traffic corridor on which the dorm will be situated. Cyclists have nothing to fear as Dumont promised a bike lane to make pedal-pushers glisten, not sweat: “We are adding a bike ramp that gets bikes very gracefully up to the main path.”
Student concern and animosity towards the campus plan was not abated by the building improved design. The Voice‘s editor-in-chief Gavin Bade (SFS’ 14) cited the Campus Plan’s goal of moving upperclassmen on campus and asked why the university wasn’t constructing apartment-style housing. Vice President for Student Affairs Todd Olson answered that Triangle’s goal is to provide dorm housing for sophomores who comprise a sizable portion of apartment-living on campus, freeing up apartments for upperclassmen.
To conclude, the Sasaki design team again assured us the building plans were by no means final and invited the students to a final forum at the end of September.
Photo by Sasaki for Georgetown University