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HomeArchitectureArchitectural homage to DC’s musical past revives 9:30 Club

Architectural homage to DC’s musical past revives 9:30 Club

Local design studio CORE architecture + design says it has partnered with I.M.P. to create a new music venue in Washington, DC, branded as The Atlantis.

Located on 9th Street NW next to the 9:30 Club, the architects say in a statement that the 450-capacity club “offers an intimate concert space that pays homage to 9:30 Club’s original location on F Street NW at the Atlantic Building in downtown DC.”

“That club became a rite of passage for touring musical acts from around the country and a ‘mecca’ for the local music scene,” the architects say.

The structure’s façade features a ghosted scrim of perforated metal panels along with the architectural ornamentation of the F Street façade.

“Drawing guests into the venue, the design of the hallway leading to the performance area features light fixtures, archways, paint colors, and trim moldings that take visitors back to the legendary venue,” the architects wrote in their statement. “The club’s infamous cast iron columns are faithfully recreated with ‘ghost columns’ of light beams shining down to four bronze discs on a resurrected original flooring pattern in the exact locations of the original venue. This includes a monumental column at the front of the stage with an exact replica of the Crow’s Nest—a chair that was welded to the column for the purpose of filming performances.”

“The building design is as much a new construction project as it is a historic recreation effort,” said project lead Christopher Peli from CORE. “Access to I.M.P.’s archives with video footage and photography of the old club significantly aided in the innovative reproduction of the venue to deliver the new Atlantis.”

The name, The Atlantis, is a nod to the space that briefly occupied the 9:30 Club’s location on F Street prior to its opening.

The Atlantis differs from the historic venue by providing a second-floor balcony, which helps drive capacity and offers guests a raised vantage point with enhanced sightlines for shows. The floorplan of the new club also incorporates a roof terrace and three bars—one per story. A connecting doorway to the existing 9:30 Club serves to expand the venue’s capacity.

“The way we do things is to find people we like and trust, and stick with them, which is why CORE is our architect,” said Seth Hurwitz, Chairman of I.M.P. and owner of The Atlantis, the 9:30 Club, The Anthem and operator of Merriweather Post Pavilion and Lincoln Theatre. “We just love working with them. They are creative, they listen, and always a pleasure to be around.”

atlantis 2The project involved a demolition and reconstruction of the existing building to accommodate a capacity of 450 people.

CORE partnered with architectural acoustic consulting experts WSDG (Walters-Storyk Design Group), who previously collaborated with I.M.P. on The Anthem and Merriweather Post Pavilion.

“Seth and the I.M.P. team always put together a passionate group, none more so than CORE,” said WSDG Partner, COO Joshua Morris. “We were honored to be part of it and bring the best of what we do to the creation of The Atlantis.”

The team at CORE worked closely with I.M.P. to translate the symbolic and nostalgic vision for the new club into reality. Previous design collaborations between the two firms, such as The Anthem and Lincoln Theatre Bar, contributed to the successful delivery of The Atlantis.

Says David Cheney, Principal, CORE, “We are confident that The Atlantis will embody the riotous energy that thrived at the original 9:30 Club, fostering a sense of nostalgia for fans and bands alike while simultaneously reinvigorating the modern music scene of Washington, DC.”

Mark Buckshon
Mark Buckshonhttps://washingtonconstructionnews.com
Mark Buckshon is the publisher and interim editor of Washington Construction News. He is also president of the Construction News and Report Group of Companies. He combines a journalism and business background, and has published construction trade publications for more than 30 years, after an earlier career in journalism, which culminated when he lived through the transition from Rhodesia to Zimbabwe in 1978-80 as a sub-editor for the Bulawayo Chronicle and a correspondent for a Canadian news service.


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