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7900 WISCONSIN AVENUE

LOCATION:
Bethesda, MD

STATUS:
Projected Completion 2020

PROJECT SIZE:
25,000 sf

PROJECT TEAM:
FXFowle (architect)
VIKA (civil engineer)

OWNER:
JBG Smith

AWARDS:
2016 ASLA Potomac Merit Award for Design
2016 AIA DC UNBUILT Washington Merit Award

The 7900 Wisconsin Avenue project is a 17-story, 475 unit residential apartment and retail building located in the Woodmont Triangle district of Bethesda, MD.  The site is organized around a dynamic new plaza that will provide much-needed pedestrian connectivity between Wisconsin and Woodmont Avenues.  In addition to the plaza space, the landscape scope includes new streetscapes, a pool terrace, and several rooftop amenity terraces.

The design at the ground level is organized around the plaza, which stretches across the entire block, running through a 35' tall portal in the building and descending a total of seven feet as it approaches Woodmont Avenue.  Three iconic pyramidal landforms, interwoven with a series of informal pathways, imbue the lower plaza with an unmistakable character.  While ostensibly sculptural, the landforms also function as a sort of garden whose sloped lawn areas provide opportunities for informal lounging and picnicking activities.  This feature ultimately drove the development of a work of public art designed jointly by the landscape architect and the architect; a tessellated stainless-steel element that adorns the ceiling of the portal.  The plaza also includes a series of stepped planters that treat stormwater runoff from the roofs above.  Running along one side of the plaza, the metal planters are crowned with a trellis structure that screens the edge of the plaza from the blank wall of an adjacent building. 

All major landscape areas -- including the sloping plaza and pyramidal landforms -- were built on structure and had to comply with strict loading limitations.  Accordingly, many custom details and assemblies were developed in order to meet these criteria.


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Renderings: LAB, FXFowle