Avec on H Street
Finalist: Best Mid-Rise Apartment Community (6-9 Stories)
Nominated by: Torti Gallas Urban
Location: Washington, DC
Developer: WC Smith
Architect: Torti Gallas Urban
Project Website: www.tortigallas.com/portfolio/8th-and-h-street
Following the District of Columbia’s investment in a streetcar system running along H Street, this new mixed-use development at 8th and H Streets is bringing vibrancy back to the H Street corridor. The H Street façade has been carefully designed and articulated to be consistent with the character and fabric of the surrounding context with a lower portion immediately on the street and a taller mass of varying heights recessed back from the street.
The H Street façade is divided into seven distinct pieces, each with its own massing, façade character and material colors. The rhythms, window patterns and storefront character of these facades are all different, reinforcing the narrative of these as separate buildings. The portion of the building at the corner of 8th and H Street has a distinctive curve and is articulated with a more modern vocabulary. This creates a signature event at an important intersection and creates open space for cafes and other activities that animate the street.
Creating setbacks at the upper levels to allow for a contextually appropriate street wall building height required a unique approach to the building’s unit design. To achieve the desired 15-foot setbacks at the upper floors of the building, the units are 40- to 45-feet deep at the lower levels.
The team created a new unit type (the “flat loft”) with an inboard bedroom. These units provide wonderful living space on the exterior glass wall with the bedroom inboard receiving borrowed light through glass barn doors and transoms. The upper units at the setback level feature a 15-foot deep terrace with amazing views overlooking the neighborhood. With features such as sunshades along the southern exposure to assist with solar mitigation and a green roof, the project is designed to achieve LEED-NC Silver certification. Thirty-two units are set aside as affordable.