Rockville, MD

The Escher ushers in a more urban, contemporary component to the underserved, yet, emerging Twinbrook neighborhood. This 317-unit, mixed use building not only creates the quintessential urban street plaza. Initially, the project was proposed as two buildings sitting on adjacent sites separated by a pedestrian-friendly paseo. It was later decided to break up the massing—and the project itself—into phases. Phase I would consist of a mixed-use multifamily building with two central courtyards and Phase two be made up of single-family rowhomes, thereby mirroring the urban identity of larger, urban landscapes. The transition between the two, disparate spaces is achieved with ground level units that have their own individual entrances and stoops, similar to brownstones, correlating to the architectural language of the townhomes.

Massing and architectural elements help to define the main corner on Chapman Avenue. Two, seven-story, wooded planes break up the mass of the buildings as they slice through it at an angle and expose a skeletal, double-height, glass-encased lobby and three pedestrian bridges above wrapped in aluminum and glass. The bridges are a dynamic component that connects activities and residents, provides views to and from the luscious, inner green courtyards, and—at night—are activated by polychromatic accent lighting. As one wraps around the building, the large scale is further broken down into sections through the use of various materials and facade finishes. Each section encompasses the rationality of a complete building, and once they are connected in a sequence, the overall composition has a rhythmic quality. Likewise, every corner has a strong identity articulated by wooden fins, blue metal panels, and balconies. The building facades are expressed as base, middle, and top through syncopated and contrasting layers. The end result is an intimate street façade anchored by distinctive corner elements that serve as beacons for pedestrians.


Completed 2018

Base Architecture
258,000 SF Residential
5,300 SF Office Space
317 Residential Units

IIIA Wood Construction