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Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Hotel Florida Concept


I randomly came across this webpage for a boutique hotel concept designed by Group Goetz Architects ("GGA") to be located across from the Howard Theatre. If pursued, the boutique hotel -- dubbed "Hotel Florida" -- would be located on the triangular lot across from the Howard Theatre.

Here is GGA's description of the concept:
The 6-story building will consist of 55 hotel rooms, 1st floor retail space and an underground parking garage. Amenities, which include a lobby, administration area, lounge, bar, small conference room, reading room and movie theater, will be organized in a dramatic four-story atrium that will be visible from both T Street and Florida Avenue.

The exterior of the building is made of poured-in-place concrete, punctuated with random small openings that allow for selected views of the city from the suites. Overlapping with these openings, a metal screen with a floral pattern covers the entire South fa├žade, further enhancing the aesthetics of the building.

The rooms are compact and laid out along the periphery of the building. Each is simply organized in a rectangular shape that can be divided by a system of curtains. This system provides guests with the option to open and close the room at their convenience; also allowing for several levels of privacy as the curtains cross and overlap. All furniture is made of a single fiberglass molded element that integrates a credenza, table, bed and bathtub.
Size: 46,000 SF
Even though the idea of a hotel on the site sounds pretty conceptual at this point, what do you think of the unique design?


Image from Group Goetz Architects

14 comments:

Davester said...

Forgive the language. But hell no! I have no problem with a hotel being on the site. But that design in a historic district. Not a chance in hell -- especially in ANC1B.

DG-rad said...

not a huge fan of punctuated small openings.

Anonymous said...

I own the building two doors down and fine with anything to improve the neighborhood. The Howard project seems to keep being delayed and there are still many vacant stores on the 7th street strip between the metro and howard hospital. Hopefully a project like this could help push progress forward for the area.

Davester said...

Anonymous, I live 2 blocks over and I have already sent a heads up to our ANC Commissioner(s) notifying them of this potentially incursion on the historic district. I agree the block needs help but not at the cost of the some really ugly non-conforming building. They would have to tear down 3-5 buildings on that block which is currently against the Historic designation. I'm really questioning how real this project actually is. I'm so sternly against this architecture as it does not confirm/contribute to the 1890/early 1900 historic designation. Plus I had to spend over 100k on my building when I made repairs to it that met the historic boards guidelines. Everyone else should have to do the same when they do work on their properties. They just started doing work on the Howard Theater this month and are still planning on being completed by the end of next year. The properties on 7th street that you are reporting on have been held hostage by the Radio One development that will occupy that entire block. Being a resident of the immediate area for 7 years now I know the frustration in the slow pace of progress. Unfortunately whenever the government or big developers and land speculators are involved the delays are quite disappointing. If they are so intent on building this thing they can do it North of Florida Ave and West of Ledroit Park -- that area is non-historic.

Anonymous said...

Looks like it's not their only design idea for the site. Here's another:

http://www.gga.com/architecture/com_build_rep/HLC.html

Shaw Rez said...

If I were to guess, I would say that this hotel concept is just that -- a concept, with very, very little possibility of moving forward in any way that resembles what we see from GGA. If that triangular block were to be redeveloped, I can't imagine the city allowing the old buildings buildings to be razed.

Nonetheless, it's interesting to discuss the proposed design and how we'd like that block to look in the future...

Shaw Rez said...

Anon - good eye re: GGA's alternate concept!

Justin from ReadysetDC said...

I would love to see this come to fruition, but perhaps somewhere that's not a historic district, like NoMa or near all of the modern condos near 10th + U...

Nolan said...

I guess I'm about as concerned about this expensive, non-funded, unsolicited, non-conforming idea as all the others out there....

MCS said...

I am all for anything to get that awful block and 7th street south of Florida looking better.

Anonymous said...

I say yes. I know I know the historic preservationist types always get so terrified at the thought of something that doesn't look like it was built 200 years ago. but this city needs to create an architectural legacy that will be considered historic itself in 200 years. I know that this project is just an idea, but I think we need to move forward as a city and allow for more daring architecture. Now, all new proposals get so watered down by the complaints of the preservationists that we end up with remarkably bland uniformity among new buildings, which in turn becomes a point of criticism from the preservationists. Like you work to reinforce your own biases. I'm not saying tear down all old buildings and give diller + scifidio free reign, but I am saying that if faced with the choice of preventing three vacant, dilapidated (but historic!) row homes from getting razed so an edgier development can come in, I say bulldoze. There has been enough infill to DC that the good homes have been saved already. We don't need swaths of urban blight just to protect 'architectural integrity,' or whatever that means. /rant

Anonymous said...

so the economy is crap, the block in question is in need of repair and you're against it? Seriously, let your property value go to s--t and watch someone build a hotel somewhere else and revitalize that neighborhood. This group is going bring jobs to your friends, family, and kids. And give your inlaws a place to crash instead of your couch.

Anonymous said...

Hello -- this is Scott Roberts of Bloomingdale. See the text of an 8/3/2009 Email below received from LeDroit Park resident and ANC 1B01 Commissioner Myla Moss regarding this site located within the Greater U Street historic district, across the street from LeDroit Park:


I have spoken directly with the staff of the Executive Office of the Mayor and I am told that the city is planning to purchase the parcel at T & Florida NW. The city expects a letter of intent to sale the parcel to the city from the current owner. The city has not hired a contractor/developer or architect to address this parcel. The city is not aware of any conceptual designs for this parcel. The buildings behind the parcel are indeed in the historic district. There are no final plans or plans of any kind for these buildings which are privately owned. As you know the Historic Preservation Review Board is very stringent and not prone to allowing demolition of historic buildings, however, the law does allow for historic buildings to be demolished. Please be assured that the community will be advised and informed of all projects within this corridor and will have ample opportunity to provide their feedback and recommendations.

Furthermore, Message from the Executive Office of the Mayor. No need for alarm! The project, as described in the GGA webpage (www.gga.com), is “concept.” Some architectural firms develop concept drawings to illustrate their abilities and design thinking as a method of marketing the firm. Note that no developer or hotel chain is mentioned or linked to the project.

The location of the concept hotel is within the Greater U Street Historic District so any proposed project is subject to the Section 106 process, which encourages the preservation of historic structures.

Thanks

Myla Moss
Commissioner
ANC1B01

Anonymous said...

Consider that even though the district mentioned may not be officially designated historic, one of the intrinsic charms of DC is the architecture throughout the city which has the "feel and flavor" of preservation of the country's beginnings. We are an extremely unique city and as a long-time resident I would prefer that revitalization not make us look like any other city on the map