Southwest D.C. Information HUB
A small information hub for the Washington D.C. Department of Transportation (DDOT), located adjacent to the Southwest Waterfront Metro Station. The neighborhood is in transition between the 1950s urban renewal and contemporary mixed-use developments, and is a vibrant residential community. Recent developments include, the Arena Stage performing arts center, and the new DDOT Headquarters. The primary design objective was to create a focal point within the evolving neighborhood. The design will need to accommodate the three primary use groups, Tourists, Residents, and Commuters, while establishing an identifiable landmark for the neighborhood. The plaza design is a passive intervention that will no directly affect Commuters daily routine’s, while at the same time creating an inviting space for Tourists and Residents. The plaza is accessible from all directions, and articulated to develop a central gathering space. This is done by siting the Information Hub in the southeast corner of the site. An organic paving pattern weaves into the HUB and the placement of seating, trees, and small plantings create a unique and friendly environment. The siting of the Hub provides high visibility from the metro and cross streets, and its unique style adds a new flavor to the southwest waterfront gateway.
The information hub’s size is minimized by embedding service functions into the east wall of the building. a void in this service wall identifies the information desk. A small island counter in the center of the space allows users to walk though the hub uninhibited while allowing the option of stopping and viewing displays while three large display boards inside and five large exterior displays relay information to users. The Hub uses a folding Nana Wall to open to the piazza accentuate the connection between the hub and plaza.
Ecological conditions of the site were a driving force in the design of the Information Hub. Site design manages storm water run off through the use of permeable pavers, and strategic placement of bioswales and planting. Storm water runoff and greywater is diverted to an underground cistern to be used in site irrigation. The roof maximizes solar angles to shade in the summer and heat in the winter, and the curvature of the roof can maintain 45% coverage with nano-solar panels. Energy Consumption is reduced by using high efficiency lighting and plumbing fixtures in addition to ductless HVAC systems.