Van Ness Park

Van Ness Park

Park Van Ness

Summary :

Park Van Ness is an Art Deco apartment building in Washington, DC with 271 units, ground-floor retail, and a 5,000 square foot public plaza overlooking a nearby urban park. The building features a grand archway and plaza, which required two elevators but were deemed worth the cost for their community benefits. The building is located on Connecticut Avenue, a major thoroughfare through Northwest Washington, and includes fewer than one parking space per unit due to the abundance of walking, biking, and transit options. The building is recognized for its good urban architecture and artful incorporation of themes from the nearby park.

Description :

Park Van Ness

Washington, District Of Columbia

This beautiful Art Deco building is a striking addition to a major urban thoroughfare, terminating a vista at the end of a cross street with a grand, twostory archway that leads into a 5,000 square foot public plaza overlooking an important urban park. The six-story, 271-unit apartment building of Park Van Ness features ground-floor retail and sits near a transit stop on Connecticut Avenue in Washington, DC.

The building offers a view of nature framed by architecture that makes the pedestrian experience more interesting by breaking up the large building into two halves. The street-level view of the park’s magnificent tree canopies, highly visible because of a drop in grade, is a gift to the community.

Van Ness Park
Park Van Ness at night. Source: Torti Gallas + Partners.

The archway and plaza added considerable expense—because the building required two elevators—but developer BF Saul and the design team decided the community benefits outweighed the cost.

Connecticut Avenue, a major thoroughfare through Northwest Washington leading downtown is lined by residential buildings and mixed-use districts with stops on the DC Metro’s Red Line. The Van Ness urban node is close to Rock Creek Park—but prior to this building’s construction, Connecticut Avenue in Van Ness had no visual connection to the urban green space.

Options for walking, bicycling, and transit are plentiful—as is on-street parking—and so Park Van Ness includes fewer than one parking space per unit. A courtyard faces the primary thoroughfare.

Park Van Ness DC Tower Facade
Park Van Ness tower facade. Source: Torti Gallas + Partners.

“CNU recognizes good urban architecture, and this is some of the best that I have seen—it’s a big urban gesture,” says architect and jury member Daniel Solomon.
Neighbor Justin Wood appreciates the contribution to place. “The Art Deco styling of the building feels like it’s been in the neighborhood for a much longer time than a few months. It feels natural mixed in with other older buildings.”

Great care was given to maintain the “art” in the Art Deco language. Numerous custom decorative pre-cast panels throughout the main facade evoke themes from the adjacent park. Additionally, two custom sculptures were commissioned which bookend the archway into the park. Custom paintings, also inspired by the park, are placed throughout the public spaces.

Top photo: Park Van Ness exterior. Source: Torti Gallas + Partners.

Project Details

Park Van Ness Washington, District Of Columbia




Charter Award

Charter Award

Charter Award

1- ,Park Van Ness ,2018-07-24 19:14:05

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