AIA CitiesTapies Condominiums
"We have some of the finest architecture in the word, but contemporary work has not been the norm... This being well received as it has, is a real stepping stone for allowing other contemporary architecture to co-exist with the historic buildings..."
Bill Bonstra, partner at Bonstra Haresign Architects, LLP, emphasizes the firm's desire to preserve historic sites while simultaneously integrating advanced features. Bonstra believes that enhancing historic districts with contemporary design can be extremely beneficial. In transforming the original structure, designers made an effort to maintain the authentic form, so that Tapies could effectively co-exist with surrounding buildings. The five unit condominium illustrates a uniquely angled floor to ceiling glass and aluminum physique.
One function of the composition is to armor the original masonry frame. As Bonstra puts it, the composition also allows the building's facade to "see and be seen." Residents relish in a breathtaking, uninhibited view of the historic district. The glass doors lead to exterior balconies stretching across the entire width of the building. Internally, the hydraulic elevator opens directly into the living areas, and the sleek staircase in each duplex takes tenants to the mezzanine level. The floors are limestone and the doors mahogany. Remote control wall shades and modern ceiling fans add a technical flare.
To have immediate access to living areas via the elevator is not only extremely convenient, but quite impressive. Moreover, the external contour is nothing short of amazing. The view provided by the glass facade almost gives residents on upper floors the effect of being lofted into the sky. At night, the bright lights of each unit give the appearance of glimmering duplexes. Tapies spectacular, state of the art design is testimony to the immense possibilities for contemporary architecture in a primarily neoclassical neighborhood. The construction of Tapies Condominium is a leading example of how contemporary projects can mesh with long standing communities.
Tapies Condominium is located at 1612 16th Street in the Northwest quadrant of Washington, D.C. The neighborhood on 16th street is commonly referred to as the Sixteenth Street Historic District. Tapies is 10,000 square feet and is categorized as a multifamily residential building with duplex residential units. Giorgio Furioso purchased what used to be an original wood frame building dating back to Civil War times. It was one of the last remaining wood frame buildings on 16th Street. The facade of the building was crafted to coincide with adjacent apartments that also embody masonry frames.
The Tapies project design was conceived from the initial configuration and setting of the building. The condominium stands on a twenty-one feet wide site. Bill Bonstra designed the overall structure, but Giorgio Furioso was responsible for the interior design of the units. Phillip Abraham, Furioso's business partner, was a client of Bonstra Haresign Architects and oversaw construction. Construction began in the early part of 2000. By the end of construction in 2002, total cost was approximately 2.5 million dollars.
Bonstra Haresign Architects, LLP
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