4250 Connecticut Avenue
Schematic Design 2018
Perkins + Will (architect)
ARUP (structural engineer)
The 4250 Connecticut Avenue project, which involves the renovation and repositioning of an existing office building, is located on a busy commercial corridor in the Van Ness neighborhood of Washington, DC. The project presented a unique opportunity to reinvigorate an existing property by creating new public space amenities that serve the local community of students, office workers, and residents. The design approach hinged on the realization that existing foot-traffic between Connecticut Ave. and the UDC campus could become a catalyst for reinvigorating an existing plaza and defunct bus drop off. The underutilized bus drop-off area is re-imagined as a phased “flex-space” that would implement low-investment, high-impact programmatic interventions - such as food trucks, farmers markets, and outdoor art shows. Reprogramming the space would continue into the future, growing over time to provide needed community-centered amenities and retail program.
In order to foster more connectivity from Connecticut Avenue through the site, the design proposes openings through the building at the ground and first-floor levels, connecting the Promenade space to the more highly-trafficked entry plaza and the first floor public courtyard. One level above, the first floor garden courtyard incorporates a similar family of planter and seating elements and provides a more verdant and restful counterpoint to the public plaza below. At Connecticut Avenue, the relationship between street-level retail and the sidewalk is reoriented in order to increase visibility and exposure to the public. Additionally, multiple roof terraces add important outdoor work spaces for adjacent offices. These terraces overlook the courtyard and streetscape below and offer ample space for public observation. Special care was taken by the design team to analyze and optimize the structural capacity of the existing roof terraces in order to maximize the value of the roof terraces while minimizing the need for costly structural reinforcement.
LAB worked with architects and developers throughout the design process to coordinate feedback and involvement from the Van Ness and UDC communities.
Renderings: LAB, Perkins + Will