The House of Knowledge

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Dusk Atop the Adjacent Apartment
Dusk Atop the Adjacent Apartment

Looking South
Looking South

The Corner of 15th and U
The Corner of 15th and U

Dusk Atop the Adjacent Apartment
Dusk Atop the Adjacent Apartment

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Model
Model

Model
Model

Model
Model

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Level One
Level One

Level Two
Level Two

Ground Level
Ground Level

Level One
Level One

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Process
Process

Process
Process

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Model
Model

Model
Model

Model
Model

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Year: 4th Year 1st Semester

Type: Cultural, Public Space, Housing, Urban

Program: Digital Library, Appartments, Park

Location: 15th and U, Washington, D.C.

Scale: 40,000 sq ft

 

The House of Knowledge was conceived through an intense focus on the existing urban condtion.  Students were given free range to choose a site within the historic and progressive U Street corridor.  A corner lot was located with an unoccupied Neo-Classical building sitting adjacent to a vibrant gas station.  The House of Knowledge attempts to solve this problem of unfortunate urban adjacencies with an adaptive reuse and addition that maintains the vibrant gas station below.  The existing conditions drove the design as the tripartite scheme of the existing building was conversely used in the site plan.  A digital library would inhabit the Neo-Classical building while an addition for housing would bridge from the library over the gas station down to the corner park.  This unique type of mixed used project needed to establish a connection between the library and the housing, the public and the semi-private.  A series of wood models represented these two offset masses (programs).  An offset grid based on site conditions slashes through the masses to create space for circulation and structure.  This continuous space fused the housing, the library, and the park as a consistant urban condition.