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WMATA zeroes in on canopy design firm


Exposure to the elements wreaks havoc on the inner workings of outdoor escalators — havoc that’s expensive to repair. So, in addition to fixing the escalator damage done by Washington weather, Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority seeks to prevent the need for further repairs by installing canopies over 46 of the agency’s 53 exposed escalator entrances.

WMATA July 12 announced it had selected Lourie & Chenoweth L.L.C. for the Comprehensive Escalator Canopy Program Design Selection.

A seven-member jury comprising engineers, architects, WMATA operations representatives and other design professionals earlier this year reviewed 167 design submissions.

Four finalists were selected to compete at the next level by fully developing their concepts, and producing a three-dimensional model, illustrations and drawings to expand on their original designs. The three other finalists were Stanley Ira Hallet FAIA & Ali Omar, Weihe Design Group and Arthur Cotton Moore Associates.

Pending board approval, Lourie & Chenoweth will be contracted as the lead architectural designer working with WMATA’s engineering consultants. Canopy construction costs about $300,000 per location, and the entire program must not exceed $27 million.

WMATA officials expect next spring to begin constructing the first canopies.