1101 K STREET
Washington, DC, NW
DCS Design (architect)
2009 ASLA Potomac Merit Award for Design
2009 ASLA Maryland Merit Award for Design
This project is located on a section of K Street in NW Washington D.C. that is characterized by a fifty foot pedestrian zone between the street and the building facade. The project brief called for the inclusion of typical streetscape program (a wide clear path and tree panels), an entry plaza, and an outdoor dining area for a sizable restaurant.
The design approach organizes the streetscape through the use of a series of sinuous linear planters and massive stone elements organized as a garden-like zone that buffers the dining area from everyday sidewalk traffic. Within this zone a loose array of sculptural light columns further articulates the space, providing needed illumination in the evening and imbuing the area with a clear sense of place.
The dining area, with expansive stone paving adjacent to the south-facing building facade, had the potential to become an uncomfortable microclimate in warmer seasons. Therefore, several large shade trees were placed throughout that area in order to mitigate the heat and contribute to the pleasant garden-like atmosphere. Although relatively commonplace now, the project implemented what at the time were innovative soil vaults in order ensure that the shade trees had access to necessary soil volume while maximizing the area available for outdoor seating. Years later, the project continues to thrive as a beloved feature and welcomed respite along a busy commercial corridor in downtown Washington, D.C.
Photographs: Prakash Patel; Renderings: LAB