Is a great face enough or does the entire body have to match?

Walking back to the Triangle from a brunch by Union Station a fellow Madrigal resident shared that she was not impressed by the new Ashton Judiciary (750 3rd St NW). “They invested money into a nice facade on the front of the building then went cheap on the sides and back” she said, and continued “that would irritate me if I lived there.

Ashton Judiciary; click to enlarge

I think the Ashton Judiciary looks fairly good. I appreciate that The Hanover Company didn’t settle for a bland 3rd street facade. I had rather than have an architecturally distinctive contribution to the public space than a building that has a consistent yet bland look on all sides.

The Mather Studios; click to enlarge

Pictured above, the Mather Studios at 916 G Street NW, is another example of a building with a distinctive street facing facade that lacks the same detailing on the sides. Again, I think this is perfectly acceptable, but I do think a small mural or Trompe-l’œil on the bare concrete side would be an appealing improvement. This building has several artist studio residences – has beautifying the first 20-30 feet of the alley ever been proposed?

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  1. 2

    tom veil says

    I live in the building next to The Ashton, and I completely disagree. The sides of the building have very nice masonry that matches the neighboring buildings, and was laboriously and painstakingly assembled over several weeks. The front is just a couple panes of glass and that stupid handle thing on the top, both of which they slapped on in a couple days.

  2. 3

    Scenic Artisan says

    whats going on with the ywca building?
    is the HVAC system part of that building or the mather?

    perhaps theres speculation that a building would go there?

    i would think a cool sculptural installation or tasteful use of color would be nice touches to those insets.