Author: phillip

Seven Years in the Making

We are thrilled to witness the last chapter in the story about “the little church that could.” In February, 2020, Riverside Baptist Church was certified by the US Green Building Council – a long standing project goal – marking project completion. Project design began in 2013 and even with construction completed in 2018, closing out all components extended until recently.   GBR Architects was commissioned with the design to replace a church situated in the center of The Wharf, one of the region’s most ambitious developments.  Envisioned as a destination waterfront community by developers PN Hoffman (now Hoffman and Associates) partnered with Madison Marquette, Riverside Baptist Church literally sat at the front door of the future development immediately across Maine Avenue SW. The Riverside project included both a new church for Riverside and a mixed use, multifamily residential development on the former church property.   The new church is LEED® Silver-certified. Sustainable features include...

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Looking down, not up?

Looking down, not up? Today, we are celebrating an award to our structural engineer, Ehlert & Bryan, specifically to principal, Jason Sparrow.  Jason’s approach to this project has been singled out by the Structural Engineering Association of Metropolitan Washington for their creative solution to some dicey conditions.  See their award at .  An early decision by both owners,  Riverside Church and developer PN Hoffmann, placed the new church at the prominent corner of Maine Avenue SW and 7th Street SW directly across from PN Hoffmann’s signature Wharf.  Normally designing sacred spaces we are focused upward seeking inspiration from the heavens.  For this unique project we had to start looking below – below the ground.   The WMATA Green Line passes directly under the corner of the lot.  The location presented design issues but the elevation of the tunnel was even more challenging.  With the top of the tunnel a mere 30 feet...

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Kresge REimagined

For the past two years, GBR Architects has been working with Dr. Jo Allen, president, and facilities staff at Meredith College to realize improvements to their 1974 Kresge Auditorium.  The Meredith example is one of numerous such campus facilities sprinkled over the US higher ed landscape by the Kresge Foundation, under the leadership of Sebastian S. Kresge, an American retail icon, who supported the arts on a large scale.  Perhaps the most famous of these is the MIT version, designed by Eero Saarinen which opened in 1955. Meredith’s version is part of the Cate Student Center, designed by local Raleigh architect Valand Benzing Associates.   Under Dr. Allen’s leadership the project goals sought to completely transform the original space by creating a warm and friendly atmosphere unlike the previous version, improve accessibility and sightlines, update A/V and student connectivity while enlarging the performance area to support a variety of uses.  By all...

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