Providing new residential housing units within walking distance of employment centers, restaurants, entertainment venues, schools, walking and biking paths, as well as regional intermodal transportation hubs is the ideal for any and all new infill development. Considered “very walkable” with a walk score of 78, Gables Pointe 14 accomplishes these goals in a dynamic collection of buildings on a small triangular-shaped, hillside site in Arlington, Virginia, just across the Potomac River from Washington, D.C. The development lifts a prominent and highly visible, but underutilized, site from a series of small scale private enclaves into an outward looking and publicly connected community that promotes walkability and provides opportunities to reduce resident dependence on cars.
With over 50-feet of vertical change in grade across the site, the topography posed a significant design challenge. The community features two residential buildings, a six-story midrise and a 12-story high-rise building, connected by shared amenity spaces and above a single subterranean garage. A large private courtyard and an 8,000-square-foot public park separates the two residential buildings at the mid-block street level to provide a new accessible path through the site bridging two previously unconnected parts of the existing community encouraging increased interaction among residents of Gables Pointe 14 and the established neighborhood.
The architectural language evokes the historic Art Deco heritage of Arlington with contemporary interpretations of design elements such as step backs, tapering and material changes that accentuate the verticality of the façades. The building is primarily clad timelessly in brick and metal panels. A vibrant starburst-like sculpture called “The Rising Star” by Joe O’Connell and Creative Machines located just outside the main entry to the building welcomes residents, visitors and the public along North Rolfe Street.
Several of the ground-level apartments and townhomes have private secondary entrances along the public sidewalks surrounding the site and even more of the upper-level units have private outdoor space through the extensive use of terraces and balconies as a result of the Art Deco-like massing. These spaces serve to further connect residents with their community as well as the outdoors.
Before the construction on the Gables Pointe 14 community could commence, the Arlington County Transitional Living Program (TLP) facility that previously occupied a portion of the site needed to be redesigned and replaced with a new fully-operational facility. KTGY designed the new TLP to occupy the southeast corner of the property with its own high-quality and highly efficient residential building using a similar palette of exterior building materials and a complementary Art Deco-inspired architectural aesthetic. The small building footprint takes advantage of the sloped site by nestling parking into the grade with residential levels rising above behind a sweeping curved façade. By incorporating the TLP building back onto the site, relating it aesthetically with the new market-rate residential buildings and connecting it via publicly accessible paseo a more well-rounded, diverse and equitable neighborhood was created.
Determined to do more than simply create great spaces in which to live, KTGY and Gables Residential were committed to developing sustainably; Gables Pointe 14 is LEED Gold Certified. Several strategies were utilized in order to meet LEED guidelines. Water runoff was addressed through the creation of seven bioretention ponds via a stepped planter system that fits into the sloping topography of the site and presents as beautifully landscaped areas. These ponds collect and filter rainwater from the roof. Once filtered, the water is stored in a water retention vault, located in the garage, so it can be released slowly preventing the system from being overwhelmed and flooding. Permeable concrete at the garage entry was also included, and allows stormwater to pass through the surface and preventing runoff from overwhelming surrounding storm drains. Heritage trees on the northeast corner of the site were maintained and incorporated into a new public park that sits as the gateway for a raised boardwalk that connects to the ground level courtyard. This additional outdoor space provides opportunities for chance encounters and enhances community connectivity. Additional sustainable elements include electric vehicle charging stations, energy-efficient windows, low VOC paint, FloorScore certified vinyl plank floors, LED lighting, ENERGY STAR appliances and high-efficiency, watersense plumbing fixtures.
The residential community’s amenities include a 24-hour communal work center with a business bar and conference rooms, a lifestyle fitness center featuring fitness on-demand classes, bike storage and repair station, a resident lounge with free Wi-Fi, theatre room, dog wash station and 24/7 concierge services. The community also has a private outdoor courtyard, a resortstyle rooftop pool and lounge with an indoor-outdoor entertainment area and spectacular views of the other buildings along the Rosslyn-Ballston Corridor in Arlington, glimpses of the U.S. Marine Corps Memorial, Arlington National Cemetery, as well as the Gothic-Revival towers on the Georgetown University campus, and the monuments of the nearby Washington, D.C. skyline.
Owner | Developer: Gables Residential
Architect: KTGY Architecture + Planning
Interior Designer: Marly+Co Design Studio
Landscape Architect: ParkerRodriguez
Civil: Bowman Consulting
Structural: Ellinwood + Machado, LLC
Mechanical | Electrical | Plumbing: SSA Engineering LLC
Photographers: Anne Chan Photography | John Cole Photography
High-Rise Podium Apartments
Market Rate | Transitional
Density: Bldg. A & B 194 du/ac & Bldg. C 6.45 du/ac
Unit Plan Sizes: 533 – 1,369 sq. ft.
Number of Units: Bldg. A & B 370 du & Bldg. C 14 du
Site Area: 2.17 ac
Number of Stories: 5, 6 & 12
Parking: 405 spaces (0.96 sp./unit)
Construction Type: I
Certification: LEED Gold Certified