WINNER OF 7 AWARDS for HISTORIC PRESERVATION, ADAPTIVE REUSE & SUSTAINABILITY
Phased rehabilitation, adaptive reuse and creative upgrades transformed a deteriorating urban Civil War Hospital into a vibrant hub for culture, education and city life on Capital Hill. BELL Architects' strengths in historic preservation, sustainable design and urban community development created a new cultural center where once stood a decaying, unsafe eyesore.
BELL demonstrated a much needed continuity in the A/E process throughout the project for the design was executed in three phases, for two different clients and two general contractors. The first two phases contracted with the DC government, entailed stabilization and limited restoration. Rehabilitation design of an ornamental iron fence was a critical part to the site, required sculpting of missing elements and collecting missing pieces from neighbors. The third phase for the lease holder required rehabilitation and adaptive reuse of the entire site.
The c. 1866 hospital’s four levels consisted of small, non functioning patient rooms that BELL re-configured into large, welcoming public meeting spaces, bright classrooms and offices, ADA compliant restrooms, a modern demonstration kitchen, and other multi-purpose spaces for art and education. Access to the building was re-oriented to the ground floor, with new site grading providing wheelchair and stroller access to a modern reception area. All levels were made ADA accessible by an energy-efficient elevator tucked behind original door openings.
Location: Washington, DC, US
My Role: Architecture, Historic Preservation