There’s still time to nominate local icons for Best of D.C.
The Potomac Job Corps Center, where troubled young adults from the Mid-Atlantic states learn such practical skills as plumbing and bricklaying, is slated for more than $20 million in enhancements over the next decade. The crumbling old orphanage buildings it currently uses at the isolated D.C. Village campus are to be replaced by new facilities. But new doesn’t mean newfangled. Taking a cue from the warehouse-loft craze, the firm designing the buildings, Cox Graae + Spack, plans to leave structural components and ductwork exposed. Architect Christoffer Graae told ArchitectureDC magazine that the spartan design serves a higher purpose: “Since this program trains kids in the building trades, we want to expose how buildings work.” But Job Corps facilities chief Michael O’Malley admits that, with a limited budget, the form follows the function of cost control. “We have to design in a Toyota way,” O’Malley says, “not a Cadillac way.” David Morton