The challenge of this project was to design a new, efficient sub-urban mixed-use office building on a narrow site within an existing master plan. Additionally, the overall project budget required a very cost-effective solution. Included in the scope was planning for parking, which was phased into two areas- a garage structure and pad site parking, as well as an EMT Station to serve the new neighborhood. Included in the plaza work was a water fountain feature and kinetic sculpture.
Located within Merriweather Crescent, part of Columbia, Maryland’s new urbanization plan, the building has an urban response. The massing of this 14-story tower responds to its immediate adjacency to the Merriweather Post Pavilion park and music venue. A segmented façade provides maximum views out over this venue and central Columbia beyond, in addition to creating multiple corner office opportunities internally. The narrow width of the site was addressed by locating the core to the south perimeter of the tower floorplate. Elevator lobbies, multi-tenant corridors and one of the required fire-stairs were all give natural, southern day light and were expressed on the exterior façade. The other side of the core then permitted a 45-foot, column-free internal planning dimension which is optimal.
Parking for both the office building and the adjacent music park is provided for in an above-grade structure for 1,350 cars. A local fire department emergency response center was also designed and incorporated into this structure as part of a private-public collaboration with jurisdictional authorities.
This project was successfully leased to one of the regions leading tech corporations, who now make this their headquarters. Inhabits of the building now take advantage of mixed-use vitality with immediate access to shops, residential and entertainment. The project has been an integral part of transforming the sub-urban work paradigm into one of a more vital, urban place.