Squash on Fire

Working in conjunction with Eastbanc, Inc., LeMay Erickson Willcox Architects served as the public safety design consultant for the West End Square 50 project.

The stretch of Washington, D.C.’s M Street between 21st Street and Rock Creek Park-oth­erwise known as the West End-boasts enough highbrow hotels and restaurants that the neighborhood seems a perfect fit for a squash club; what’s surprising is that the club, as the middle part of a three-tiered cake, is layered between a fire station and six floors of affordable housing.

The project, called West End Square 50 in reference to its lot’s appellation within the planning department, replaces an aging two-story fire station with a brand-new one. But it also injects palpable activity into an inward-facing neighbor­hood as part of a public-private partnership between the city and developer Eastbanc while making the most of a previ­ously underutilized site. Eastbanc won the bid to redevelop this lot and nearby Square 37 in large part due to its solution for the replacement of municipal facilities and inclusion of affordable housing.

To read more:  Triple Play (Architectural Record, October 2017