When you think about styles of architecture in Washington, D.C., the first word that comes to mind probably isn’t “progressive.” Encyclopedia Britannia puts it this way:
“Three factors have radically influenced the style of Washington’s architecture: restrictions on the height of structures, Classicism, and conservatism.”
The new Lyric 440K Apartments are a prime example – an innovative 14-story structure housing 234 one- and two-bedroom units in the heart of the up-and-coming Mount Vernon Triangle.
Troy Balkema, the project director at Quadrangle Development Corporation who oversaw the Lyric 440K’s design and construction, explains that “this neighborhood is due east of the Washington Convention Center, and it’s been transitioning for probably 10 or 12 years now.”
Jasna Bijelic, senior designer at Davis Carter Scott (DCS) Design, was the project’s architect. She recalls, “The porcelain tile skin was very expensive, but we wanted to achieve it, so we were looking for something that would complement what we were doing. That’s how ALPOLIC® materials came into play. They are a very high quality aluminum composite cladding material at a very affordable price. Partially, I think that made it possible to execute the design we have today.” Discovering high-quality ALPOLIC® composites in an exceptional array of finishes opened her eyes to new possibilities. “I really give compliments to ALPOLIC®/fr Materials,” she says. “They have a nice website where you can find lots of interesting finishes.” Instead of the usual shades of gray, whites and muted solid colors, with ALPOLIC® Materials “you have all these different finishes that are kind of inspiring.”
Lyric 440, Washington D.C., Alpolic/fr in MFS Mica Silver, SBP Dragonfly Prismatic, BNT Bone White Solid Finishes
That inspiration finds its most notable expression in a huge “fin” that gives the Lyric 440K building its focal point. The most striking thing about the “fin” is its color. Bijelic explains, “When I was ordering samples, I was going through the website, and I found this finish called Dragonfly, and I couldn’t resist. “The Dragonfly did such a good job of creating a level of interest and being so unique in the neighborhood and in DC in general, that everybody who sees it is stunned initially with what they see – how it changes from teal, to purple, to almost orange or pink depending on how the sun hits it.”
In addition to the “fin” in our custom SBP Dragonfly Prismatic finish, the building incorporates ALPOLIC® materials in BNT Bone White and MFS Mica Silver.
All these finishes are made possible by the unrivaled color, brightness and gloss range available with Lumiflon® FEVE fluoropolymer resin and Valflon® coatings supplied to us exclusively by Valspar®.
Murray Walker, senior project director at DCS, explains that there were many places where the glazing, tiling and composite material elements all converged in the same place. “It was a complicated building to detail and get it right,” Walker says. “We used an open joint system to complement the tile rainscreen, and it also had to tie in with our window systems. We were very pleased with the ALPOLIC® product. We like working with it. We can detail it really well – particularly for the waterproofing of the building and good thermal control.” And, he says, echoing Joe Paradise, “It all comes together really well.”
The Lyric 440K is one building that honors tradition while looking proudly forward to a new way.