Tuesday, July 03, 2018
Planning staff recommends approval of Donohoe/StonebridgeCarras life sciences building at 8280 Wisconsin
Doug Firstenberg, Principal with StonebridgeCarras, calls downtown Bethesda an "untapped" market for such uses near those world-renowned medical institutions. Bethesda-based Donohoe's CEO Chris Bruch promises a "premier life sciences building," with 185000 SF of space in total, according to the staff report.
Ewing Cole is the architecture firm for the project, and the facade treatment is certainly refreshingly different from some of the cookie cutter, cantilevered designs of late. There is a jagged tear that cuts through the glass facade from the roofline to the tall windows at the bottom of the 14-story building. The upper floors jut out a notch from the lower story at point, an intrusion into the Wisconsin Avenue right-of-way that planners and the Design Advisory Panel have both complained about. However, staff is suggesting delaying that discussion until the site plan phase of the project.
The board will take up the project at its July 12 meeting. Staff is recommending approval of the sketch plan, with conditions.