November 10, 2008 Preservation

Event: DCPL to Host Evaluating Modern Discussion PAHO Building

The D.C. Preservation League will host a panel discussion Nov. 20 on the designation and future preservation of modern buildings and sites in Washington. The discussion, the the second event of the DCPL’s D.C. Modern fall program, will be held 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Pan American Health Organization building located here. Panelists will include: Christine Madrid French, president of the Recent Past Preservation Network; Theodore Prudon, president of the the U.S. chapter of DOCOMOMO; and Beth L. Savage and Kristi M. Tunstall, preservation experts with the General Services Administration. Click here for registration information.

In addition to the interesting program, the event will present a rare opportunity to go inside one of D.C.’s best examples of mid-century modern architecture. Completed in 1965 and designed by Uruguayan architect Roman Fresnedo Siri, the building is composed of two structures–the cylindrical unit housing the 300-seat council chamber and the 10-story crescent-shaped secretariat building, which is raised up on pilotis (pictured above). The walls of the council chamber are covered in a zig-zag concrete pattern of brise-soleil (pictured below), the sun blocking technique popularized by Le Corbusier, who was a major influence on Siri. Read the PAHO newsletter article announcing the news of the completed building.

I really like this shot I took. The shape of the cloud mirrors the circular shape of the council chamber building.