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In Living Color

Suzane Reatig Architecture

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melaniebecker, Suzane Reatig Architecture

Project Name

In Living Color


625 Rhode Island Avenue NW


Project Status


Year Completed



32,000 sq. feet


The United House of Prayer for All People


  • Civil Engineer: CAS Engineering
  • Structural Engineer: Tadjer Cohen Edelson
  • General Contractor: McCullough Construction



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Project Description

Located steps from the public transportation, the project site is tapered, with one short side facing the street and one long side bounded by a public alley. The architect determined that increasing the density would make the most of the downtown location and site. Working closely with city officials, a rezoning allowed for the replacement of four dilapidated townhouses with a 16-unit apartment building.

The four-story building features a green roof, a courtyard and a linear garden. The garden creates a buffer for the west facing units while also transforming the alley into a safe and pleasant walking path.

The bold exterior colors reflect the vibrant culture of the neighborhood. The long west façade engages the street and speaks fondly to the award-winning Watha T. Daniel-Shaw Library, located diagonally from the site. However, while the exterior is bold, the interior is serene and calm. Large, spacious units with a modest palette lend a gallery-like feel to the space. Combining creativity with cues from the surrounding context resulted in a new model for urban living.
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