• Sheena Saydam

Our Washington DC Skyline a Little Taller

Can you imagine a modern and dramatic Washington DC skyline? The TALL DC: New

Monumentalism exhibition opened on Thursday, May 22, 2014, and continues through Tuesday, June 10, 2014, at the District Architecture Center located at 421 7th Street Northwest, Washington, DC, 20004.

This presentation features the work of a group of students and their professors from the Catholic University of America’s School of Architecture and Planning (CUA). It showcases a set of three unique skyscrapers designed to provoke the way we as Americans think about our monuments and urban development. These CUA students have proposed skyscrapers for the Department of Commerce building site at 1401 Constitution Avenue NW, a prime DC location, right in the middle of the National Mall.

The three projects are meant to encourage a modern and dramatic evolution of the DC skyline with respect to the Height of Buildings Act of 1910, as well as full urban growth strategies. The proposed mixed-use skyscrapers are about 120 percent taller than the 555-foot Washington Monument, taller than the 130 feet allowed by the 1910 Height Act.

For the sake of contrast, the tallest building in the world is the Burj Khalifa in Dubai. It is 2,717 feet tall. In the absence of the 1910 Height Act, the skyscrapers would completely transform downtown DC.

Creation of The EVE: Elevated Viewing Experience, The TIBER and The Iceberg was intended to challenge our views and limitations with the possibility of amazing buildings in downtown Washington DC. Each skyscraper offers an innovative and debatable change to our DC skyline.

Do you welcome these skyscrapers and the modern changes they would bring to our Washington DC skyline? Please, share your thoughts. Leave a comment.

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