Northeast Triangle Dorm moves through another bureaucratic roadblock, more to go before approval
The Old Georgetown Board met Thursday and brought plans for the Northeast Triangle Dorm closer to approval by supporting the height, massing, and siting of the new residence hall.
On November 25 the D.C. Zoning Commission withheld approval of the project until the OGB commented on the University’s plans. Now this approval opens the doors for the University to focus more on specific details of the new residence hall.
“This was what we expected or even better,” Lauralyn Lee, Assistant Vice President of Community and Strategic Initiatives, told Vox. “We can now close out that part of the [zoning] process and focus on the architecture and design,” she said.
While the OGB was supportive of the overall zoning, they grew wary of some of the specific details of the residence hall.
“I’m not convinced by these selections,” said Old Georgetown Board Member Stephen Muse. “You, to some extent, corralled your students. This looks like a fortress. It needs to be its own work of art,” he said in response Sasaki architects’ claims that they were drawing from the student body and modelling a dorm after Healy and Copley.
The boards’ qualms were not restricted to structural design, as they questioned how the entrances would affect student traffic on campus, as well as the materials going into creating the building. “You have an uphill battle with me if you want to use stone,” said board member Alan Brangman.
Despite the board’s doubts, the Advisory Neighborhood Commission spoke in full support of the University moving forward with the dorm construction during the meeting. Additionally, Assistant Vice President of Design, Regina Bleck, was not surprised by the Boards’ critiques and assured that it will help for completing the future design.
“This is just a part of the normal process,” Bleck told Vox.
The University needs both concept approval and final approval once they get the building permit. The zoning approval they received today is a part of their concept approval. The University, however, still has a lot of work ahead on the building’s design to receive full support. “[Concept approval] also includes down to the detail of the colors of the window frames and how the brick and stone interface,” said Bleck. “We didn’t expect to get to that point.”
The University hopes to receive final concept approval of the Northeast Triangle in the coming months, but it’s unclear how long this process will take until the University receives the final building permit.
Photo: Grace Brennan/Georgetown Voice