Foster + Partners explains the presents as following:
This site, bordering the main city axis of New York Avenue, has views towards the White House.
The masterplan breaks the site into smaller, pedestrian blocks and bridges new connections between the historic, predominantly residential neighbourhoods to the north and the commercial office developments to the south. Rooted in the the distinctive urban identity of the city, the design reinstates and expands the original 18th century alleyways between the blocks. The tree-lined avenues, complete with classic Washington 'globe' street lights, are replanted with local species to integrate seamlessly with the historic context.
|Redevelopment of the Washington Convention Center © Fostner + Partners|
Designed to be human-scaled, in contrast with the imposing scale of the surrounding blocks, the volumes step down from ten storeys at the perimeter of the site to frame a central plaza, where the streets and pathways converge. A new public park, designed by Kathryn Gustafson, in the north-west corner of the site further extends the public realm and features a landmark fountain.
The high density, mixed-use scheme will create a low-carbon, pedestrian-friendly quarter and the masterplan is designed to achieve LEED Neighborhood Development 'Gold'. The landscape office and apartment buildings are oriented according to the path of the sun and incorporate green roofs to absorb water — the scheme aims to recycle 100 percent of the water used on site.
|© Foster + Partners|
The design of the facades goes further in breaking down the mass of the buildings and articulating their different functions externally. The Office buildings incorporate lightweight aluminium louvres and a vertical shading system of screened glass and aluminium The apartment buildings, with their concrete columns and sliding horizontal louvres, are differentiated by a more solid feel.
At the entrance to the central plaza, a glass 'jewel box' — a flexible, transparent space suitable for a shop or café — provides a distinctive new meeting point.
|© Foster + Partners|
The apartment interiors are designed by Foster + Partners and many of the condominium units also feature generous balconies and terraces, which are individually designed by Kathryn Gustafson.
At ground level, there is a variety of shops, cafes and restaurants. These retail areas are grouped according to their function, with 'H Street' specialising i destination retailing, alleyways lined with specialty shops, and, restaurants, designer and boutique brands concentrated along I Street.
Source: Foster + Partners