Selldorf Architects has designed a new mixed-use building in the Historic Union Market District in Washington DC. Home to Gallaudet University (GU) since 1864, the area is known as an important center for commercial life in DC and is currently experiencing rapid growth. Our client JBG Smith has partnered with GU to develop four parcels that are directly adjacent to the university campus. Selldorf’s scope is a mixed-use building providing approximately 650,000 sf of residential and retail space. For more than 150 years, GU has offered the only liberal arts college experience for deaf and hard of hearing individuals in the world.
Incorporating the DeafSpace Design Guidelines in building and site design, the new development combines spatial connections and building materials that enhance awareness and foster deaf culture expression. Additionally, the building’s 120-foot height establishes a distinct presence on 6th Street providing orientation to the adjacent Union Market Food Hall.
The project offers a generous street level plaza on 5th Street to foster a diverse pedestrian life experience and support retail patrons. A simple and restrained material palette of brick, metal, and glass, echoes and celebrates the area’s historic district.