Tower at Eisenhower Avenue

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Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University


The Eisenhower Avenue Valley site is unique in the Washington Area for its highrise development potential. It offers access to the Metro line, the beltway and Old Town Alexandria. Its zoning diversity will accommodate light Industrial, commercial and residential construction. The question of whether or not to build a tower in proximity to the temple is an architectural and a political question. The assumption of this project is that the Eisenhower Avenue Valley will have high rise development. This design has recognized the significance of the Eisenhower Avenue Valley site and its zoning. It identifies the specific aspects of the site, such as the proximity of the Metro Line, the beltway, Old Town and the Potomac River. Within this context, the project defines the user of the metro by finding an architectural meaning within the planning issues discussed above.

As the grid-lock of the beltway grows and becomes more congested, the Metro Line will flourish. The Metro line, when used to its greatest potential, will soon replace the street grid and city block as an urban organizational element. A city's character is drawn from this urban element. This project responds to this element by defining the individual within such a context. Retail commercial and residential space exist with respect to the Metro Line, not in competition with, or in ignorance of it. A perpendicular axis emerges from the Metro Line. Ordered around this axis are residential, commercial and retail spaces that exploit their specific site advantages.

The accomplishment of this project has been in understanding and developing an architectural solution to these planning Issues and questions for the individual who will live, work and shop in this environment. I would like to acknowledge the help of several individuals. Ed Rahame's carpentry expertise and· advice helped me through the oral defense of my thesis. Tim Mount's photographic ability and patience were greatly appreciated. Don Casey provided intimate knowledge of the Eisenhower Avenue Valley and the public policy applied to it. This came from his years in public service as a City Councilman.