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Context

The Department of Labor’s Potomac Job Corps Center provides on-the-job training in a variety of programs. Their mission is to educate and train highly motivated young people with the skills needed to become employable and independent. The existing campus was disorganized and required extensive renovations and modernizations to fit their growing program. Existing structures included several multi-story brick buildings, a small recreation facility with pool, and several dormitories. CGS Architects was commissioned to develop a comprehensive campus Mater Plan and subsequently execute the design of their initial four project phases.

Solution

To bring order to the campus, CGS Architects created the Central Quad with a new campus-wide axial path connecting north and south program buildings. Buried below this common green space on the northern side, a field of geothermal wells smartly provide constant 55° water to its high performing mechanical systems year-round, hidden from view, but appreciably reducing the Job Corps annual operating costs. Along the south edge of the Central Quad, the Cafeteria and Recreation Center (Phase 1) includes substantial site and utility improvements. The new 17,000 SF Recreation Center houses common rooms, exercise studios, weight rooms, arts & crafts studios, a TV / movie hall, multipurpose rooms, a canteen, and full showers and lockers. The existing pool was renovated, and outdoor playing fields and a gymnasium were added. The 18,000 SF, 350-Seat Cafeteria and Culinary Arts Building were designed with the main dining room facing the Central Quad and service to the back. These new structures provide a natural hub for students and staff alike. With thoughtfully applied glazing around the perimeter, the warm glow they emit in the evening further reinforces the welcoming nature of these facilities, encouraging gathering and fellowship, and complementing their more formal programmed uses: dining, recreation, and instruction. Subsequently, CGS Architects designed two new residence halls (272 beds total) located on the eastern edge of the campus. The two dorms were conceived as counterpart buildings mirroring one another while framing the Central Quad. Each building features a simple palette of materials, a soaring roof announces the entry way and common areas with sun-filled, double-height volume marking the center of activity. The signature “butterfly” metal roof collects rainwater, diverting it into common planters. These two buildings serve as an economical solution to housing a large and active community in an open, convenient, and comfortable, but also secure environment, allowing students to focus on their education and training.

Context

The Arlington National Cemetery is a final resting place for those in the military who have served our Nation and provides a haven of beauty and reverence for more than three million annual visitors. The 639-acre grounds are comprised of land once owned by George Washington Parke Curtis, grandson of Martha and George Washington, and later occupied by Confederate General Robert E. Lee. In 1864, the property became a Civil War burial site when the War Department officially set aside approximately 200-acres for use as a military cemetery. Since then, the Arlington National Cemetery has evolved into a sacred national shrine and a gravesite for more that 400,000 men and women who have honorably sacrificed their lives. As the cemetery grew and evolved over time, there came need for a consolidated facility for burial operations, grounds maintenance, and vehicle storage. Recognizing the sacred natural of the site, the facility needed to adequately house these utility functions while screening operations and providing an appropriate backdrop for ceremonial processions and funerals.

Solution

The Arlington National Cemetery is a final resting place for those in the military who have served our Nation and provides a haven of beauty and reverence for more than three million annual visitors. The 639-acre grounds are comprised of land once owned by George Washington Parke Curtis, grandson of Martha and George Washington, and later occupied by Confederate General Robert E. Lee. In 1864, the property became a Civil War burial site when the War Department officially set aside approximately 200-acres for use as a military cemetery. Since then, the Arlington National Cemetery has evolved into a sacred national shrine and a gravesite for more that 400,000 men and women who have honorably sacrificed their lives. As the cemetery grew and evolved over time, there came need for a consolidated facility for burial operations, grounds maintenance, and vehicle storage. Recognizing the sacred natural of the site, the facility needed to adequately house these utility functions while screening operations and providing an appropriate backdrop for ceremonial processions and funerals.

Context

Originally opened in December of 1961, the Woodrow Wilson Memorial Bridge is a bascule bridge that spans the Potomac River between the city of Alexandria, Virginia and Prince George's County, Maryland. The original bridge was one of only a handful of drawbridges in the U.S. Interstate Highway System and was designed to carry up to 75,000 vehicles a day. This design volume was elapsed in just eight years and ultimately almost 200,000 vehicles crossed the bridge on a daily basis, creating one of the worst bottlenecks in the eastern US. Planning for a new $2.4 billion replacement began in the 1980’s and the project was fully completed in 2015. In conjunction the new bridge span, the Woodrow Wilson Memorial Bridge needed an Operator’s Control House to house engineers who oversee and manage all communications and operations related to the function of the drawbridge and its approaches. The structure needed to be narrow to fit between the Inner and Outer loop of the 495-Beltway around Washington, DC. and the material needed to handle not only the heavy car traffic but be able to live in a marine environment. CGS Architects was commissioned by the transportation engineers to design an inspiring and innovative solution.

Solution

The Operator’s Control House acts as a gateway marker for the approach to the Woodrow Wilson Memorial Bridge. The slender, 6-story structure grows out of a concrete support shaft extending from one of the monumental V-pier supports. The requirements of the support structure and the shape of the repetitive bridge piers precisely determine the geometry of the tower. CGS Architects utilized ship and automotive archetypes to develop the wind shaped, streamlined form. The front served as the prow of a ship; the round piece mimicked a tugboat’s wheelhouse. The observation level is completely enclosed in flush, radiused glass to permit a full 360-degree visual sweep of the highway approaches. The tower is inclined outward toward the navigation channel to give unobstructed views of the river when the drawbridge spans are lifted. A steel armature cantilevered from the concrete shaft supports a series of freestanding, panelized stainless-steel screen walls containing access catwalks.

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2909 M Street NW | Washington DC, 20007 202-965-7070
2909 M Street NW | Washington DC, 20007 | 202-965-7070
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