Latest I-395 Air Rights rendering

Below is one of the latest renderings of the Mass Ave elevation of the future I-395 Air Rights development from the Louis Dreyfus group.

Mass Ave elevation of Future I-395 Air Rights development

Visit our November 2010 posting for more details on the project.

Hat Tip: Tom T

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  1. 1

    John Thompson says

    As excited as I am about this project, the lack of creativity in the design of the exterior is a huge disappointment. with the scope of this project, it’s impact and significance, they really missed the boat. It looks like another “dime-a-dozen” office buildings. Is it too late for the architect to do a facadomy on this project & come up with something inspirational that will have class A tenants at competing for the space? Louis Dreyfus, you should expect and demand a better design, not only for you, but for your perspective tenants and for the neighborhood. I’d give this facade a solid “D” for downright boring.

  2. 2

    Jim says

    Roche Dinkeloo, the architects for this project, just don’t do highly articulated facades. They’re still holding onto the post-modern minimalist aesthetic that was popular in the 80s and 90s.

    Three recent examples of their work in DC are:
    -1101 NY Ave: (A bow-tie shaped, unitized flat glass curtain wall monolith. Not nearly as dynamic as Thomas Phifer’s shingle-style unitized glass curtain wall building across 11th St.)
    -Lafayette Tower: (The tetris building)
    -Station Place: (Another monolith, save for the ivy-covered articulated stone pillars on the first two floors, but I’m guessing this was done mainly because the project is across the street from a low-scale Cap Hill residential neighborhood.)

    All of the above also happen to be Dreyfus projects. They just love their Roche Dinkeloo.

  3. 3

    Shipsa01 says


    Terrrrrrrrribly uninspiring, boring, waste of space, etc etc etc. John, I think you’re grading easy. It deserves an F. Maybe F-

  4. 4

    FourthandEye says

    Far from inspiring. But better than what was originally proposed. I’m glad that the ground floor now has it’s own separate facade as it bumps out from the building and incorporates some masonry. If a developer is content to build a monolith there is only so much the needle can be moved from that initial starting point. Getting a better ground floor – which is all most of us will really ever interact with was a decent win.

    Besides, my pragmatic side recognizes that the immense engineering costs of building the decking (>$200 million) mean tradeoffs in other areas.

  5. 5

    RobA says

    All you folks with your ideas of what the building should be (or not be), why haven’t you (except FourthAndEye who has attended) come to the public meetings to express your opinions and to learn what the constraints are on the project? It’s been changing and evolving over the past two years from community input and input from Zoning.

    Doesn’t do any good to Monday morning quarterback.

  6. 6

    John Thompson says

    @Rob: I’m in school & I REALLY miss attending the PZE meetings… and the MVSNA meetings… and the CID Marketing Committee meetings… :( I look forward to having a break & getting back into the swing of things with the kids in da hood. :)

  7. 7

    M Street says

    No offense, Rob, but I think people are allowed to have an opinion regardless of whether they’ve made it a priority to attend the meetings.

    And with that said, my opinion is: bleh. I hope it’s more interesting and less sterile when it’s actually built.

  8. 8

    RobA says

    @M Street, I agree but many people sit back and don’t step up and make the contribution – the ANC and Committee would have welcomed all of the comments during the entire process … not just after it’s pretty much been put to bed. You don’t have to attend the meeting to express your opinions on a project … but just adding a comment to a blog posting doesn’t get it to the people who need to hear it. And we all know those commenters on blogs that just make comments just to get a rise out of readers.

  9. 9

    Invasion says

    I was linked to this post by Matt Yglesias’s blog (link below) and have no idea where this building is going to be placed. However, I do know this: it looks no different than any office park development and, if it was designed by a reputable firm, they should be ashamed of themselves. I can’t imagine this tripe is what these people imagined they would be creating when they went to architecture school.