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Woodmont Central Development Approved for Downtown Bethesda
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Woodmont Central Development Approved for Downtown Bethesda

WDG Architecture Designing Residential Towers, Office Building for Donohoe Development

The Montgomery County Planning Board has approved a major mixed-use initiative proposed by Donohoe Development for the Woodmont Triangle area in Bethesda, Md. WDG Architecture is providing architecture and urban design services for all three buildings of the multi-phase development, which totals more than 585,000 square feet and is collectively known as Woodmont Central.

The projects include two apartment towers and an office building to be constructed on two sites two blocks apart. All three buildings will include street-level retail. The sites are located just south of the National Institutes of Health campus in an aging, transit-friendly neighborhood targeted for redevelopment and increased density. The planning process was highlighted by a transfer of residential and commercial density between the two sites, optimizing both and helping to spur the revitalization of the Woodmont Triangle community. The transfer was a first for the county under new zoning regulations.

The 16- and 17-story, 494,000-square-foot residential component, known as The Gallery at Bethesda, will feature a total of 455 units with nearly 20,000 square feet of retail. The luxury residences will be built in two phases, with the 234-unit first phase set to break ground in mid-2012. A 221-unit building will follow, and will be linked to the first structure with a dynamic central plaza and streetscape, a street-level retail arcade, and three levels of underground parking.

Both buildings will feature green roofs and numerous rooftop amenities, including sun decks, sky lounges, game rooms, gardens, and swimming pools. Many of the units will offer terraces and balconies, with both buildings providing panoramic views. Designed to meet LEED®-certification requirements, The Gallery at Bethesda will feature extensive use of high-performance glass in its contemporary facade.

“The Gallery at Bethesda will enhance the Woodmont area with two distinctive towers, a public plaza, shops, and restaurants,” says Rick Hammann, AIA, principal-in-charge of the project for WDG Architecture. “Donohoe has envisioned an urban transformation that optimizes this site and really brings it to life for the community.” Hammann notes that Donohoe and the design team are currently exploring options for a display of public art within the plaza.

The office portion of the project, set nearby along Wisconsin Avenue, is a six-story, 91,600-square-foot building that includes more than 10,500 square feet of retail and three levels of underground parking. Designed to LEED-Silver standards, the building will also feature a predominantly glass façade.

“This project will make downtown Bethesda an even better place to live, work, and shop. It’s a big step in the revival of downtown Bethesda’s Woodmont Triangle neighborhood,” says Jad Donohoe, development director with Donohoe Development. WDG Architecture has completed numerous office, residential, and hospitality projects for Donohoe over the past several years, including the Gallery at Rosslyn apartment tower; the Holiday Inn at 550 C Streeet SW in Washington, D.C.; and a new office building at 1111 New Jersey Avenue, SE, to be constructed atop the Navy Yard Metro station.

In addition to Hammann, WDG Architecture’s team includes Siti Abdul-Rahman, AIA, as associate principal overseeing design, and Marc Nathanson, AIA, principal-in-charge of the office building. The design team also includes ParkerRodriguez for landscape architecture; Tadger Cohen Edelson Associates for structural engineering; Jordan & Skala Engineers, Inc., for mechanical/electrical and plumbing engineering; and Loiederman Soltesz Associates, Inc., for civil engineering. Efron Art is providing art consulting.

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