Aurora Bethesda
North Bethesda, MD
CLIENT
LCOR
STATUS
Completed June 2014
LEED
Pre-Certified LEED-NC Silver
SERVICES
Architecture
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Program

18-story, 341-unit apartment tower as part of North Bethesda Center—a mixed-use town center at White Flint Metro in North Bethesda, MD. Amenities include pool, garden, fitness center, business center, and a rooftop clubroom.

Description

As Montgomery County seeks transformation from automobile-dependent suburbia to walkable urban-center, North Bethesda Center (NBC) is driving positive change in the White Flint neighborhood. Owned by WMATA and developed by LCOR, the parcel was previously underutilized as a miniature golf course and driving range. Aurora is the first residential component at NBC. Situated within steps of the White Flint Metro station, its modern design sets a new aesthetic standard for White Flint’s transit-oriented growth.

A glass storefront system, held by lustrous metal panels, articulates the building’s base and breaks down the scale of the parcel. Increased transparency creates visual interest for pedestrians walking about the larger mixed-use development. The metal panels become an armature for tri-colored brick above. Building mass is organized in to three distinct metal and glass towers, connected by brick masonry planes. The main corner tower provides a strong visual anchor and marks the main entrance while setting up a new departure point for the potential future phase opposite a central courtyard. Materials find cohesion in contrast; opposing textures and colors work in tandem to link the towers. A curtain wall system with unique glass spandrels further articulates verticality and defines the implied curves between each corner. Single-story balconies interface with multi-story openings to create visual scale and vertical rhythm; achieving this balance provides balconies to 70% of the building’s units.

Aurora’s luxury amenities are key drivers in place-making. A social community is created through options for active and passive recreation. Sixty-seven percent of the site is open space, including a large community green that often hosts live concerts and events. A resort-style pool with sun shelf is found on the ground level. A rooftop terrace and lounge offer expansive views and are connected to an interior clubroom with bar and lounge. Other spaces inside the building include a golf simulator, conference area and business center, a media/ game room, and a fitness center. A concierge supports residents 24-hours a day.

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