Old Georgetown Board Reviews NSSC, Dahlgren Quad
Published: Tuesday, February 12, 2013
Updated: Tuesday, February 12, 2013 02:02
The Old Georgetown Board approved revised plans for the New South Student Center, eliminating one hurdle from its path to completion, but it asked for further revisions to the proposed renovations of Dahlgren Quadrangle in a public hearing Thursday morning.
OGB members primarily expressed concern about new lighting planned for the Dahlgren Quad area, which would replace current light fixtures with more efficient LED lamps and add additional lights to illuminate the chapel’s stained glass windows during evening masses.
“We’re going to need more information … on some of these light fixture installations to decide whether conceptually it’s OK,” OGB member David Cox said.
Cox added that the university should limit vehicular traffic in the quadrangle to prevent future damage.
Carvalho and Good, the landscape architect hired to renovate the quadrangle, is revising the plan to accommodate the board’s suggestions and concerns and, if they finish the modifications in time, will present to OGB at the board’s next meeting Mar. 7.
According to Brian Stephenson, a landscape architect for Carvalho and Good, additional plans include the rehabilitation of paving and landscaping in addition to modifications to area lighting. These renovations will complement the renovation of Dahlgren Chapel, which is due to be completed this summer.
Stephenson emphasized that the most substantial part of the project is the paving rehabilitation because the current tile and granite have deteriorated under the weight of the vehicular traffic during events and maintenance routines. The proposal calls for sturdier, thicker bricks and granite slabs over a reinforced concrete base.
Architect Joseph Tattoni of the New Jersey-based ikon.5 presented modified plans for NSSC, a new student study area and lounge space due to be completed by fall 2014, to the three-member panel. The modifications responded to concerns about landscape continuity, lighting and other design elements that were voiced during the board’s January hearing. The proposal also modified the location of the center’s gate at the intersection of Prospect Street and Tondorf Road to ensure that emergency vehicles can smoothly navigate the area.
The new proposal extended the landscaping surrounding the proposed student center, using it to soften the design’s hard edges, a major concern of OGB in January. Tattoni presented the new plan with schematics, images and a scale model of the student center.
“The model is very elegant,” OGB member Anne Lewis said. “When you look at this thing, I find the cut-off end very pleasing.”
OGB members were pleased by Tattoni’s revisions to NSSC.
“[Georgetown did a] tremendous job in listening to us last time,” Cox said. “At every turn, it’s just shown a much stronger set of solutions.”
NSSC plans will next be evaluated by the U.S. Commission of Fine Arts. If the commission approves the designs, Georgetown will receive a permit to begin construction, which would be contingent on fundraising for the project through the capital campaign.