After Harsh Reviews, Sasaki Adjusts Dorm
Published: Tuesday, August 27, 2013
Updated: Tuesday, August 27, 2013 15:08
After passionate reactions from students and alumni to a preliminary design this summer, Sasaki Associates will reveal changes to the Northeast Triangle dorm designs at a forum Wednesday evening.
The forum, the second of its kind, will take place a week before Georgetown administrators and Sasaki are set to present their designs to the Old Georgetown Board on Sept. 4. The board, which must approve all construction in Georgetown’s historic district, postponed deliberations on the dorm in July until the university could present alternate options that appeared less final.
Sasaki spent the past month working to incorporate suggestions from the mid-July forum and address concerns of the OGB, students and alumni.
Student and alumni objections to the design’s modern appearance have been incorporated in the new proposal, which Vincent Gorgati, chief Sasaki architect for Northeast Triangle, said more clearly reflects the influence of Georgetown’s traditional architecture.
“The coloration [of the new dorm] was informed by Copley and White-Gravenor,” Gorgati said. “By all means that has been a very strong reference for this building and hopefully the evolution of the design will reflect that.”
However, Sasaki also attempted to incorporate the “duality” of Georgetown’s campus, or the marriage of stone and brick architectural styles.
“I think one of the key concepts that came out of that conversation with students was this concept of duality,” Gorgati said. “This is a campus that has, sometimes, not contradictory but complementary aspects. The recent buildings that have been built explore what it means to be a Georgetown building in different ways.”
The dorm has also been scaled down from housing 250 to 225 beds.
“The building is a little more modest in a number of ways than the previous version in terms of architecture, exterior and interior space,” Gorgati said. “What’s changed has to do with innovations. One important aspect of this is related to the use of technology and application of sustainable concepts to the building — green roofs … and natural light — which have a direct bearing on the building’s design.”
Students can expect to see multiple, revised designs that reflect feedback given at both the forum in July as well as in continued meetings with an advisory committee of students.
“I think what we’ll see on Wednesday are some new designs that really reflect and take into account things that most resonate with our community,” Director of Media Relations Rachel Pugh said, confirming that multiple designs would be shown.
Georgetown University Student Association Director of Student Space Jack Appelbaum (COL ’14), who serves as a student representative on the design committee, has seen the designs that will be presented at the forum.
“I think through interacting with students, I feel like they’ve been able to capture Georgetown’s culture a little bit more and really create something that’s awe-inspiring,” Appelbaum said. “I think they’re really taking the time to incorporate the feedback, and it shows in what they’re presenting.”
The university and Sasaki Associates plan to continue communicating with students and alumni throughout the semester and year as designs for the dorm progress. To provice alumni with relevant information, the university will hold an online webinar Sept. 11.
“There’s still more to be done and a lot of it’s going to depend on what students are going to say at the forum,” Appelbaum said. “It’s still been in a fairly insulated group and you can’t really tell what feedback and what people think of it until it goes to a much bigger group, like the forum on Wednesday.”