7900 WISCONSIN AVENUE
Projected Completion 2019
VIKA (civil engineer)
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.
Renderings: LAB, FXFowle