Case Study: Flats 130 at Constitution Square

Washington, D.C.

The architecture introduces a residential feel and vibrant street life to a formerly industrial and commercial area of the city. The project includes 440 residential units and 52,000 SF of retail. The incorporation of a ground floor grocery left minimal space for a typical ground floor entry. This drove the introduction of a grand stair to draw visitors and residents to a unique open second floor lobby and amenity space. Residential unit types new to the area and the inclusion of unique amenity spaces create a sense of place and brought a new demographic to an under-utilized area of Washington.

To accommodate growth over time and respond to stakeholder feedback, the complex mixed-use multifamily housing is designed in three phases across a full city block. The towers rise 13-stories high and bring together one of the city’s largest grocery stores (Harris Teeter), more than 640 apartment units, a hotel, shops, and 1.1 million square feet of office buildings. Creative and efficient programmatic layering was critical to achieve an efficient, effective community-oriented design. For example, a courtyard also functions as a roof for parking and a massive loading dock contained within the center of the block. The loading dock services the full building and functions as a security control point. By containing the dock at the core, a full block of ground-floor retail space was opened up to bring 24/7 energy and everyday services that make up an urban community.

The design also connects the residents with the outdoors through a system of courtyards and terraces that offer a variety of gathering spaces. Outdoor fireplaces, water features, a pet park, and grills allow residents to extend their living to the outdoors. In addition, the Flats are just steps away from Metro, bus lines, and bike trails.

Design strategies include the manipulation of materials, color and plane to break up the large site while maintaining the goal of walkable urbanism. Brick veneer with steel stud back up is used for exterior construction and aluminum windows, storefront systems and metal panel systems complete the facade. Extensive use of floor to ceiling glass provides relief for the massing.

Urban Design
Interior Design

Completed 2013

646,000 SF Residential
52,000 SF Retail
640 Apartments

Concrete Frame High-Rise