Architecture DC

Winter 2011 AIA DC magazine

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Eastern Market after the fire. Protecting Our Cultural Heritage by Steven K. Dickens, AIA, LEED AP Award for Excellence in Historic Resources Eastern Market Rehabilitation Washington, DC Quinn Evans Architects Architectural Team: Larry Barr, AIA; Michael Quinn; Baird M. Smith, AIA; Tina Roach, AIA, LEED AP; Thomas Jester; Purvi Gandhi Irwin & Michael Hill, AIA Contractor: Minkoff Company, Inc. Structural Engineers: Robert Silman Associates PLLC MEP Engineers: Grotheer & Company Civil Engineers: Delon Hampton & Associates, Chartered Other Consultants: George Sexton Associates; Nyikos Associates, Inc.; Management Alternatives, Inc. Eastern Market, the beloved Capitol Hill landmark, does not fit the stereotype of the grand building forgotten by time and degraded in use. Quite the opposite: the structure’s biggest problem a few years ago was simply that it was so heavily used, no one could imagine closing it down long enough to make what everyone agreed were badly needed upgrades. All that changed in the spring of 2007 when a fire devastated the building. The firm of Quinn Evans Architects was called upon to renew and restore the facility, and quickly—the mayor himself promised a reopening within two years, an ambitious deadline that was met. The project brings the building into the present while restoring its historic glory. The architects provided critical elements that, when lacking, can distract from the beauty and integrity of the architecture, such as wheelchair accessibility, modern utility and fire- suppression infrastructure, air conditioning, and adequate restroom facilities. At the same time, they re-created lost architectural elements, including the skylight, chimneys, and decorative exterior details. Merging the past and present are the windows, which are modern replicas, but with high-performance glazing; the steel roof trusses, half of which are new (and carry all the weight) and half original; and interior wall surfaces with finish plaster that replicates the original paint color, but is installed over new rigid insulation. In their award competition entry, the architects included a “Sustainable Design Statement” indicating substantial gains in energy efficiency, stormwater control, and indoor environmental quality. The re-created skylight/roof vent and new operable windows, for example, allow for ventilation that offsets some 10% of the air conditioning load, while reducing the need for electric lighting. Previously, the heat from the vendors’ refrigeration dissipated into the space; now it is gathered and expelled to the outside. A central energy management system provides real-time reports, allowing building engineers to make adjustments to optimize performance. Courtesy of Quinn Evans Architects Eastern Market following the renovation. 34 Photo © Ron Blunt Photography PROTECTING OUR CULTURAL HERITAGE Main hall of the renovated Easter Market. Photo © Ron Blunt Photography

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