with Anthony Catania and Sarah Alexander
October 19, 2021
Today, the immense demand for new housing is driving a building boom in our cities, and much of this new housing must be accommodated by way of infill development in older neighborhoods. Profound change within the architectural profession, the construction industry, and the overall culture of building in our society, since the time these neighborhoods were originally built, has created a crisis of compatibility between old and new. In particular, new multi-family developments are often accused, and rightfully so, of a lack of contextual sensitivity in their scale, massing, and design, and they tend to be unwelcome new neighbors for existing residents, especially within a context of significant historic character.This session examines a multi-family infill project in the historic district of Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, designed by Torti Gallas & Partners and recently completed in 2020. Sarah Alexander, Principal Designer, and Anthony Catania, the Project Architect, discuss both the challenges and benefits to working in a historic district, and how the design responded to this process and to its context. The implementation of other regulatory requirements also is explored, as are strategies for making tasteful material choices and achieving refined detailing within the realities of cavity-wall construction.
The Case Studies in New Classical & Traditional Design series explores the design and execution of new work from the practitioner’s perspective. Contemporary classical and traditional design encompasses architectural work for all building types, at all scales and budgets, and in the allied fields of urban planning, landscape, interiors and the artisan and building trades. The series aims to explore solutions to contemporary design challenges, foster critical discussion of recent work, and demystify the complexities of how unique projects come together.
Anthony Catania is a professionally-trained architect with a Master of Architecture from the University of Notre Dame and a Bachelor of Humanities and Arts from Carnegie Mellon University. Catania recently established AMC Architecture & Design, a firm focusing on the design of traditional urban building types. Prior to starting his own practice, he spent four years working with Torti Gallas & Partners as a project architect and project manager. At Torti Gallas, Catania focused on the design and production of construction documents for multi-family and mixed-use projects. Catania most recently worked with Michael Watkins Architect as an architectural and urban designer. There he was involved in urban design master plans for new and existing communities, as well as the production of urban and architectural codes. Catania also contributed to the firm’s role as Town Architect in several new communities, produced schematic architectural design, and served as an advisor to engineers, builders, and designers.Sarah Alexander is a Principal Designer involved in numerous project types, including residential, mixed-use, neighborhood revitalization, and international new town projects. Ms. Alexander has extensive experience in the crafting of complex mixed-use urban infill projects throughout all phases of design. Ms. Alexander is a leader in the firm's entitlement work, specializing in creating value for the client through innovative design solutions that maximize the allowable density for the site. Her projects have received numerous national awards attesting to her ability to craft beautiful buildings that weave seamlessly into their context. Ms. Alexander is a registered architect with a Master of Architecture from the University of Notre Dame and a Bachelor of Science in Architecture from University of Maryland, College Park.
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