Showing posts with label BRAC. Show all posts
Showing posts with label BRAC. Show all posts

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Planner chosen for Walter Reed

From today's Washington Examiner:
The 3-minute interview: James Wood

By: William C. Flook

Examiner Staff Writer

May 4, 2010

Wood, a principal at architectural firm Perkins & Will, discusses the firm's selection as master planner for the 62-acre Walter Reed site. The Army hospital is set to relocate in 2011.

The Fenty administration cited your experience with the Presidio of San Francisco, the site of another Army hospital, as a reason behind your selection. How are the projects similar?

There were two general hospitals in the Army at the turn of the 1900s: Walter Reed and Presidio. ... They both served the same purpose for the Army when they were created. ... Because of that, they have a similar infrastructure in terms of [being] hospitals both created around the same time, both projects centered around a historic hospital complex. Presidio is much larger: 1,400 acres versus 62 acres that we are dealing with.

What are the constraints on how this site can be redeveloped?

There are two primary constraints: One, the historic nature of certain structures on there, and they've got adaptive reuse of those structures. And two, we're helping the city prepare their request for the transfer of that land. And part of that requires [U.S. Housing and Urban Development] looking at this in terms of opportunities for homeless assistance programs.

Do you have a sense of what surrounding neighborhoods want?

We don't yet. We have four community engagement exercises that we're going to go through in this process, actually sit down with the community and understand what the needs of the community are, how they view the existing base and how they view the opportunities on the base to re-engage the community.

Are there early themes emerging for what this site should look like?

One of our project views is the site shouldn't look like anything -- you want to take this site and incorporate it into the urban fabric of the neighborhood. Right now, it's a secure base, it stands out, it's a bump in the middle of the neighborhood.

- William C. Flook

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Another couple of days in the life of the assistant...

For a week that started out with a holiday, it's already been a long one. I started both days by performing quality assurance on boxes of images that have been scanned and on the metadata related to them, all of which have been uploaded to an online database. This involves sampling the box at 1% and comparing the info and image online to the item in the box. This is a very good time for the iPod. However, most of the action has centered on something called a charette. I'd never heard the word before a few weeks ago so I looked it up: it's defined as an "intense design exercise."

As I'm sure we've told you before, the museum is being relocated when the Walter Reed Army Medical Center closes in a few years. We're being sent just a mile or three up the road in Maryland and we're having a new museum built. Sounds great, doesn't it? Lemme tell ya, even as a bystander not having any importance to the project, it's a lot of work. Which brings us to the charette.

Yesterday and today, representatives from the Army Corps of Engineers, some Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) Commission people, other Army people with interest in the process, the architects, some other people never identified to me, and museum staff in varying numbers, met for some scrutiny as to what we do and in what amount of space. Under BRAC law, we can't have a larger building than what we currently occupy even though most of us are overwhelmingly crowded. However, the designers are listening and noting, and we have high hopes that with professional design assistance, the space we'll occupy will be more functional and efficient even if no larger. So yesterday most of the collections staff were called in to talk about our space and give a general overview of how it's allocated.

Today we were asked to be more specific so collections staff met again and most of the day was spent poring over schematics of the building and creating a spreadsheet that spelled out how much space in each area is used for collections storage, researcher, processing, and office space (to give you an idea of how crowded we are, my "office" space is about 15 square feet and Mike's is not much more), and common storage areas for materials like empty boxes. There's a certain amount of overlap in a couple of areas, such as one largish room functioning as a combination of storage, processing, researcher, registrar, and office space for three different collections, so it took us a while to parse that kind of thing out.

The committee also wants to know what our anticipated growth is for the next several years. This information is probably the hardest of all to come up with. It's not like the spigot opens and closes with regularity, and that we control the flow. Some years in the archives we might accumulate another 10 linear feet of material. A middle amount might be 250 feet. A few years back we got 3000 bankers' boxes added to our collection. Yes, 3000. And for about the last six months of this year, just off the top of my head, I could come up with about 130 feet of material that came in in about 6-8 donations/accumulations. Finally, this 130 feet does not include the 22 cubic feet of video tapes that were delivered on Tuesday. We anticipate exponential growth over the next few years but have no real way to predict just how exponential it will be, unless "a lot" is an acceptable measurement.

Still haven't finished that "receipt" book but I have plans to do so tonight after the treadmill.

Friday, May 16, 2008

And what about the future of Walter Reed (and thus the Museum?)

Beats me, but an article from the Post today had some interesting sentences, including "The 2009 defense authorization bill that emerged from a House committee late Wednesday would halt construction of replacement hospitals for Walter Reed Army Medical Center until the Defense Department demonstrates that it can deliver world-class health services." and "Murtha's concerns include his view that there has been insufficient oversight of the design of the new hospitals, as well as the fact that estimated costs for the expansion in Bethesda, which will be renamed Walter Reed, have increased to $940 million today from $201 million in May 2005."

See "House Panel to Delay Work on Two Projects: Bill Seeks Better Military Health Care," by Amy Gardner, Washington Post Staff Writer, Friday, May 16, 2008; Page B01.