Construction recently began on 460 New York Avenue, NW, in Washington, D.C., an 11-story condominium in the rapidly redeveloping Mount Vernon Triangle neighborhood. The 63-unit residential tower’s prominent site is among the last available in the sought-after community just north of the city’s Central Business District. WDG Architecturedesigned the 66,000-square-foot project for Bozzuto Homes in joint venture with NVCommercial.
A three-level warehouse/garage constructed in 1929 once occupied the triangular site, which borders New York Avenue to the north and L Street to the south. The aging structure had been vacant and deteriorating for many years, yet the building stood as one of few remaining examples of the city’s industrial heritage. The design of 460 New York Avenue incorporates and renews a portion of the textured facade, involving careful replication of the articulated brickwork using a vintage beehive kiln process. WDG’s design creates a compelling modern counterpoint with a metal and glass tower rising from the horizontally scaled base. A pattern of zinc paneling and corrugated metal along the façade signals a contemporary twist on the building’s original character. Vertical stacks of angled bay windows and a corrugated metal spine add a dynamic dimension, providing natural light and expansive views for residents.
“Retaining part of the existing warehouse provided an industrial context that we wanted to respect,” says Sean Stadler, AIA, LEED AP, principal-in-charge for WDG Architecture. “The building was utilitarian and not overly ornate, but it had an elegance to it, and an orderly rhythm to the façade. Our approach was to design a modern complement. The vertical bays enabled us to adhere to the rigidity, yet provide a fresh visual statement. The zinc panels are an important element. The zinc and metal façade is unusual for a multifamily building in D.C, but zinc is a natural, industrial material that is in harmony with the existing building.”
The architecture also introduces an artful play on the site’s geometry, with the vertical bays along New York Avenue aligned with L Street to the south, and the bays along L Street aligned to New York Avenue. The building’s tripartite design incorporates the existing building as a plinth and the tower as a gateway element along the corridor, while a sleek metal penthouse caps the angular composition and creates a signature roofline.
The tower features large common areas and generous amenities, including the 3,500-square-foot rooftop penthouse with a community lounge and adjacent skydeck. A marble lobby overlooks a corner park along the site’s western edge. In addition to large windows, some units offer balconies; and all feature hardwood floors, stainless steel appliances, European cabinets, and energy-efficient systems designed with ENERGY STAR components. Condominium floor plans include studio, junior one-bedroom, one-bedroom, one-bedroom-plus-den, and two-bedroom options, ranging from 474 to 1,071 square feet. Early buyers have the opportunity to choose many of the fixtures and finishes within their units.
The building will offer a vertical lift parking system with 36 spaces, a space-saving innovation more common in Europe that addresses the challenges of the narrow site. Vehicles will enter on the ground level to park in one of 12 available lifts, each housing three vehicles. The lift will be the second parking system of its type in the city.
Along the exterior walls of the garage, patterned glass will serve both aesthetic and practical purposes. While the translucent glass minimizes the appearance of dust and dirt, car lights and movement inside will create a lively defraction of light, animating the building along the street level.
The project is the first new condominium option in the Mount Vernon Triangle neighborhood, and is close to two Metro stations. “Consumer demand is shifting toward a more efficient and economical urban lifestyle—without sacrificing quality, innovation or design—and 460 New York Avenue will deliver exactly this type of living in the heart of Washington, D.C.,” says Toby Bozzuto, president of The Bozzuto Group.
“We were challenged to be more creative than if we began with a clean slate,” adds WDG’s Stadler. “We might not have been as ambitious had we started from scratch at this site. The design of the tower not only acknowledges the building’s original character, but celebrates it. At the same time, the building is designed to appeal to young, urban residents who appreciate a clean, modern aesthetic.”
WDG Architecture provided architecture and interior design for the building. Team members also include TCE Structural Engineers, and Vika Capital for civil engineering and landscape architecture. Bozzuto Construction Company is the general contractor for the project.