Christian Science Reading Room
Completed Winter, 1991
This is a complex project which includes the needs of the Christian Scientist Church's out reach program and research facility, speculative office space, the completion of a highly detailed old city block and the relationship to a monumental, historic church building across a narrow alley. All this is set at the main intersection (18th st. and Columbia Road) of one of Washington DC's busiest residential and commercial neighborhoods. The design solution was to balance the geometry and architecture of the adjoining block of row-buildings, the backdrop of the historic First Church of Christ Scientist and the focused views of all these elements from the streets and sidewalks. The result is a highly sculptural building that seems to move from many different vantage points. It relates to its neighbors at street level and the block and neighborhood as a whole. This was a challenge of contextual architecture. The structure is steel and concrete. The exterior finish materials are stucco and metal.