Facade-ism. Facade-omy. Building facades are harder to design than they look. Especially with bigger buildings. Look around you.
DC architect Phil Esocoff also does a nice job with attractive facade design.
There are far more stinkers, however. For design, I prefer smaller buildings. Like small gardens or landscapes, there is usually room for only one organizing principle and its elegant elaboration. The rowhouse is a good urban example of this and the DC area has a wealth of fetching specimens in Alexandria, Georgetown, Dupont Circle, and of course Capitol Hill. Another local architect, Amy Weinstein, has done beautiful work in southeast DC on the Ellen Wilson Homes (and on a HOPE VI affordable housing budget!).
This is all to deliver to you a link I received this morning for a street of contemporary rowhouse facade design on Lonnekerspoorlaan in Roombeek, Enschede, in the Netherlands. The detail below is from a larger streetscape. This looks a bit like a facade project we did one semester in school, where we each made cereal-box scale models and placed then next to each other. Lots of ideas here. Dig away.