One of those projects, Sound Horizons, opened Aug. 5 and runs through to Jan. 28. Visitors sit in the tesseract, an array of high-density loudspeakers, and experience an immersive environment of sounds curated for Alexandria by Virginia Tech’s Institute for Creativity, Arts, and Technology (ICAT).
Sound Horizons includes four sound installations:
- “Dear Younger Me,” a project about healing the inner Black girl, which features a series of Black women reading letters to their younger selves
- “Sonification of Cybersecurity Data,” a music installation that turns cybersecurity data into musical harmony of sounds
- “Liminal Spaces,” a fixed-media composition inspired by life’s in-between moments
- “Musical Connection,” a sound installation shedding light on the uncharted neural territories that music traverses when people living with Alzheimer’s disease engage in music-making
“Collaborating with one of the nation’s top innovative universities provides an opportunity to put Alexandria on the cutting edge, proving how art and creativity are a thread that runs deeply through all forms of innovation, be it scientific, cultural, engineering, health, or technological,” Brett John Johnson, the Torpedo Factory’s curator of artistic advancement, said in a statement.
According to Virginia Tech:
The performances push the limits of sound and performance; they will explore scored data composed of music exploring infectious diseases, neuroscience, including Atrium, meditation, PTSD, and more, as well as the juxtaposition of new technology and the human body.
A facilitated discussion will follow at the end of the show, so you can listen to the researchers and ask questions about their work.
The series of exhibitions, performances and events will wrap next September, which is just is time for the opening of Virginia Tech’s Innovation Campus in Alexandria.
“Virginia Tech, with its Innovation Campus, is pushing the frontier of technology,” said Ben Knapp, executive director of ICAT. “Together with the Office of the Arts, we will be showcasing innovation in all of its forms.”
Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) announced yesterday that Virginia Tech students at the new Potomac Yard-adjacent campus will get unlimited metro trips at a significant discount.
WMATA said Virginia Tech is being added to the transit network’s “U-Pass Program.” The program is included in the cost of attendance at schools for around $1 per day.
According to the release:
Virginia Tech joins a growing list of colleges and universities enrolled in the program that provides full-time students unlimited trips on Metrorail and Metrobus during the academic year at a significant discount.
The program will give students convenient, affordable transit options and coincides with Virginia Tech’s expansion in the region with the future Innovation Campus expected to open in 2024 next to Metro’s new Potomac Yard Station.
Full time students at the Innovation Campus, Northern Virginia Center, Virginia Tech Research Center, and Washington-Alexandria Architecture Center— will receive a specially designed U-Pass with the Virginia Tech logo. The pass will be valid during the fall and spring semesters during the 2023-24 academic year.
Metro’s U-Pass is compatible with Apple Wallets too, for folks that want to avoid carrying a Metro card.
The Innovation Campus at Virginia Tech is scheduled to open next year.
After more than a year of delays, the Potomac Yard Metro Station will open on Friday, May 19, Mayor Justin Wilson announced today.
Wilson made the announcement alongside Randy Clarke, general manager and CEO of the Washington Metropolitan Transit Authority. He said that the city has been pushing to make the station a reality for more than a generation.
“On Friday, May 19, this station is going to open up to serve the public,” Wilson said. “That is an incredible accomplishment and one that is only possible because of this incredible team of city staff, of WMATA staff, of the contractor, all of our state partners, our federal partners who have made this happen.”
“I came to announce that today we’re opening on May 19,” Clarke said.
Clarke said that the station was first envisioned in 1983, when the Huntington station first opened.
“We’re happy to be partners with the city to accelerate economic development, bring more housing, bring more opportunity to deal with sustainability and equity, all the things that the city of Metro share as goals for both the city and the region,” Clarke said.
Wilson said that the project hits a number of policy areas for the city.
“This is our biggest economic development initiative,” Wilson said. “This is our biggest transportation initiative. This is our biggest Climate Initiative. This is our biggest infrastructure initiative. This is a huge initiative for the city and it hits so many different policy areas for us as a community, and that’s why we’re really excited.”
The station is located next door to Virginia Tech’s Innovation Campus, which is slated to open the first of three academic buildings in 2024. The Potomac Yard Shopping Center is also under massive development.
City Manager Jim Parajon said that the station is a critical factor for Alexandria’s continued economic growth.
“I think this work is signature to our economic development growth,” he said. “You already see it with Virginia Tech’s Innovation campus and some of the office development occurring right around the station… Economic growth helps pay for the services that our community needs and wants. It’s an amazing station and I’m looking forward to May 19.”
City Council Member Sarah Bagley said that the station is a dream realized for many residents.
“I think it means that we can do things we put our minds to, and that long expensive things are worth it,” Bagley said. “From an inclusivity perspective it’s wonderful. We’re going to have all these exciting buildings here. There’s healthcare here, there’s education here, and people will be able to access that.”
Council Member Alyia Gaskins said that the station will bring a lot of commerce to the City.
“When i think about this station I think about everything that’s going on around it, from Virginia Tech to the National Societies for the Blind to the Potomac Yard community,” Gaskins said. “This is an opportunity for us to bring people here, to have them experience our city and to stop and linger in some of these great developments that are happening.”
Council Member Canek Aguirre said that the art at the station will also bring visitors. Much of the art for the station has not yet been chosen and WMATA has to go through a request for proposal process.
“I’m super excited,” Aguirre said. “This is gonna be a destination site, and people are going to come just to be able to take pictures of the station and especially the artwork.”
Vice Mayor Amy Jackson said that the station is an exciting development.
“Tourism and retail in general will see lots of business,” she said. “Folks will come down and be able to get off here and go to the restaurants, see our Virginia Tech campus and more. It’s very exciting.”
Sudshare app-based laundry service launches in Alexandria — “Sudshare has launched in Alexandria to connect people who hate washing clothes (or don’t have time to do it) with people who are willing to do it for you.” [Alexandria Living Magazine]
Alexandria gets another new mural — “The newest Alexandria mural was unveiled on Veterans Day, Thursday, Nov. 11, at Douglas MacArthur Elementary School.” [Zebra]
Virginia Tech closes Alexandria student housing — “On Nov. 1, university leadership decided against the continued operation of The Gallery, student housing located in Alexandria, Virginia…” [Collegiate Times]
Lasting effects of segregation in NoVA detailed in new report — “A new report tells the history of exclusion and segregation in Northern Virginia and how the Black community has paid a terrible price.” [Patch]
With the groundbreaking of the first of Virginia Tech’s Innovation Campus buildings, Alexandria took a step into a new future on Tuesday.
Governor Ralph Northam joined top brass from Virginia Tech, Boeing, master architect JBG Smith and hundreds of visitors at the groundbreaking for a state-of-the-art 300,000 square-foot building. He said that, when completed, the academic buildings will be places “where academia, government and industry connect working to solve problems through technology.”
Virginia Tech plans on opening the first of three academic buildings in 2024, and the school anticipates teaching computer science research and development programs to 750 master’s degree students when the project is completed in ten years.
“We are so excited that so much of the plans that we have shaped for really a quarter of a century are coming to fruition on this site,” Wilson said. “But, ultimately, it’s not about the buildings. The buildings will be amazing, and we’re really excited about that. It’s the people that will be in the buildings and the people who will leave those buildings, and we are so excited to see the embodiment of this vision come to reality in the buildings here in the city of Alexandria.”
“I want to make a difference in the field that I work in, but I honestly just didn’t know where to start,” Laughlin said. “The Innovation Campus answered everything that I’d wanted.”
“When we began courting Amazon alongside the Commonwealth to make Northern Virginia home to HQ2, one of the main points of attraction that they had to the D.C. region was our strong base of tech talent,” he said. “Virginia Tech’s Innovation Campus brings that right next door, and delivers on a future of diversifying our economy and broadening that talent base for many decades to come.”
— Justin Wilson (@justindotnet) September 14, 2021
— Alexandria Chamber (@TheChamberALX) September 14, 2021
A new luxury condominium community in Potomac Yard has reportedly sold 30% of its properties — without any of its 138 units yet built.
The FORTIS Companies of Washington, D.C. owns the Dylan property, and is selling one-to-three bedroom condos for between $600,000 and $1.2 million. The condos have been designed by Lessard Design International of Vienna and Akseizer Design Group in Alexandria, and will be built next year. In the meantime, interested buyers can see a fully-sized model at their sales gallery at 2316 Richmond Highway.
Over the next several years, Potomac Yard will completely transform into a bustling commercial district home to a new Metro station, the massive Virginia Tech Innovation Campus, and a revamped shopping center — all next door to Amazon’s HQ2 development in Crystal City.
The new Dylan development will be located adjacent to Potomac Yard Park.
“As we anticipated, the excitement around Amazon’s HQ2 and Virginia Tech is generating strong interest in Dylan,” said FORTIS Vice President Matt Bunch. “Dylan’s convenient, walkable location is a big draw. It is just a five-minute walk to the new Potomac Yard Metro Station opening early next year, which will connect residents to Regan National Airport just one stop away. Residents also will have walkable access to a variety of new shops, restaurants, employment centers, and recreational options within Potomac Yard and on Virginia Tech’s Innovation Campus.”
Bunch continued, “We recognize that many residents will appreciate the option of working from home, so we ensured that 80 percent of Dylan’s plans include generously sized dens or home offices. Dylan also will feature an onsite business center for those residents who want to meet clients, take calls privately, or just get some work done outside of their homes.”
Courtesy The FORTIS Companies
The 50,000-square foot space is the sixth potential location for Amazon Fresh throughout the region, and Total Wine has also reportedly made moves to open next door at the former Pier 1 Imports, which closed more than a year ago.
Potomac Yard is managed by JBG Smith Properties and JPMorgan Chase & Co., which are both overseeing a massive mixed-use development of the area.
Amazon itself did not file the documents with the city, according to WBJ. Instead, Canadian architect NORR made the filing for “Mendel,” which is reportedly an Amazon code word.
Photo via Google Maps
JBG Smith, the master master developer for Virginia Tech’s $1 billion Innovation Campus, just signed a deal to design, construct, manage and own 2 million square feet of mix-used property at Potomac Yard.
“Institutional investors advised by (project financial manager) J.P. Morgan Global Alternatives contributed a land site that is entitled for approximately 1.3 million square feet of development it controls at Potomac Yard Landbay F (North Potomac Yard), while JBG SMITH contributed adjacent land with more than 700,000 square feet of development capacity at Potomac Yard, Landbay G (the Town Center),” JBG Smith said in a release.
JBG Smith has a 50% ownership stake in the joint venture, and will act as leasing agent for future residential and commercial properties at the site. The move increases the company’s ownership development rights by more than 285,000 square feet.
“The plans call for two multifamily buildings totaling approximately 419,000 square feet that have been placed in JBG SMITH’s Near-Term Development Pipeline and could start construction within the next 12 months,” JBG Smith said. “The remaining 1.6 million square feet of mixed-use development across Landbays F and G is expected to be developed over time and, consequently, are included in the Future Development Pipeline.”
“We are thrilled that this joint venture will further the community’s collective long-term vision of National Landing as a thriving, transit-oriented, mixed-use destination and world-class innovation district,” said Ed Chaglassian, executive vice president and head of acquisitions at JBG SMITH. “This transaction will help ensure that the surrounding neighborhoods can grow in lockstep with Virginia Tech in ways that will complement and enhance its Innovation Campus.”
Virginia Tech plans on opening its four-acre Innovation Campus by fall 2024. Additionally, the Potomac Yard Metro station is expected to open by spring 2022. It is also located a mile south of National Landing, the future home of Amazon’s HQ2 project at National Landing, which is slated for a 2028 completion.
Virginia Tech Innovation Campus gets $50M commitment from Boeing — “Boeing’s multi-year gift will help the campus provide scholarships to students and recruit faculty to the Innovation Campus.” [Patch]
Coalition launches video series to encourage youth to be alcohol free — “The Substance Abuse and Prevention Coalition of Alexandria (SAPCA) has launched a prevention campaign featuring a series of short videos created by T.C. Williams High School students that encourage youth to be alcohol free.” [City of Alexandria]
Chamber ALX announced 40 Under 40 honorees — “We are looking forward to celebrating these individuals at our 40 Under 40 Awards celebration, presented by Beyer Subaru, on July 15.” [Chamber ALX]
Alexandria-based podcast breaks boundaries and builds connections — “Two local women start a podcast to tackle tough issues and find community and transformation along the way.” [Alexandria Living]
Alexandria Commission on Persons With Disabilities seeking award nominees — “The Alexandria Commission on Persons with Disabilities is seeking nominees for various awards and a scholarship.” [Zebra]
Today’s weather — “Thunderstorms likely (during the day). Gusty winds and small hail are possible. High near 75F. Winds W at 10 to 20 mph. Chance of rain 70%… Some clouds early will give way to generally clear conditions overnight. Low 48F. Winds NW at 15 to 25 mph.” [Weather.com]
New job: Temporary environmental educator — “In pursuit of service excellence, the Recreation Leader II/Environmental Educator will greet and assist Nature Center patrons; deliver impromptu programs for visitors; conduct nature-based programming; assist in the care of the Nature Center’s live animals and plants; and support the administrative needs of the organization. The candidate will work under the supervision of the Recreation Leader IV. This position is located at the Jerome ‘Buddie’ Ford Nature Center, 5750 Sanger Avenue in Alexandria, VA 22311.” [Indeed]
An urban design student at Alexandria’s Virginia Tech campus is gathering some local feedback on the George Washington Masonic National Memorial.
The memorial — as longtime readers may remember from our short-lived local trivia series — was constructed in 1932 and was inspired by the Lighthouse of Alexandria in Egypt.
In the Bring Integrity Back to Alexandria Facebook group, design student Shelby Pollack asked for opinions about the memorial as part of a broader study of memorials throughout the region.
“I am an Urban Design student at Virginia Tech’s Alexandria Campus (WAAC) and am trying to gather information about what locals think of the Masonic Temple Memorial,” Pollack wrote. “I would love to hear any opinions that you have in the comments, or if you have a few minutes to fill out this survey I would greatly appreciate it!”
The survey asks locals if they’ve visited the memorial, how they get there, and a few other questions about their experience there.