Water features, a light bridge, a lookout over the Soapstone Valley, and lots of green. A proposed community hub at Connecticut Avenue and Windom Place brings it all together.
Architect Travis Price and his team took the ideas that the community churned out during charettes in March and July, and with funding from ANC 3F, he incorporated them into conceptual designs he presented at last night’s ANC 3F meeting (the video is archived here and Price’s presentation begins around 23 minutes in).
“You’ll actually start to see this as your hub, your center, in Van Ness,” said Price.
Within this two-block area spanning Connecticut Avenue are what Price referred to as hidden jewels, such as the parklet and Soapstone Valley trailhead just behind the WAMU headquarters at 4401 Connecticut, and UDC’s outdoor amphitheater tucked away behind the Potbelly and tennis courts on the other side of the avenue.
Standing by Potbelly and looking east, this is what we see today.
And this is what we could see in the future.
Price’s design adds a green filigreed copper pavilion with a water feature. Price refers to it as the “ultimate selfie center” that draws the eye to “the highest-definition television there is:” A Soapstone Valley overlook.
This is a bird’s eye view of the pavilion looking west.
And here’s what it would look like inside at night.
This is the west side of Windom Place at the UDC Performing Arts Theater.
A water feature here, near the UDC amphitheater would entice children to play and adults to linger.
Uniting both sides of Windom Place are copper columns, greened by vines. These columns appear to “bridge” the avenue, an effect that would be even more prominent when lit up at night.
“The light would go from green to blue and soothe the senses,” said Price. “It’s a magic wonderland, it will kind of stop you.”
It would be more than a wonderland. In creating the feeling of a pedestrian plaza across Connecticut, Price said pedestrians would feel more welcome. And he said the Van Ness Vision Committee would be meeting with the District Department of Transportation later this week about how to do that.
Another step is to take the ideas directly to developers, government officials, the area’s property and business owners, and other interested parties. The Vision Committee is doing just that tonight at a meet and greet at UDC, where Price will give another presentation.