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Adaire Tysons Looks Great, But That Pedestal Needs Help

From the corner of Spring Hill Road and Greensboro Drive, the Adaire apartment project looks like a legitimate skyscraper that could turn heads even in Manhattan or Chicago. It is sleek, proportional, and impressive from one view; innovative, interesting, and unique from another.

All of that is true until you get onto Tyco Road and all you can see is the giant concrete plinth that dominates the streetscape and soars taller than any other building near by, by itself. At 8 stories in height, it is the tallest parking pedestal, at least to my knowledge, in Tysons. Sadly, this building is less than a quarter mile from the Silver Line metro station at Spring Hill.

As we have mentioned before, the ugliest faces of the building garage pedestal are due to the nature of this being part one of two buildings which rely on the a shared parking base. The garage will also look better once retail is built into the lower level, and the pedestal won’t be so obvious when the neighborhood as a whole builds out.

All of that is going to be several years from now. Which is why I think it is an opportunity to think about temporary beautification, how to make better parking pedestals, and as always question why a building needs that much parking in the first place.

When the comprehensive plan for Tysons was released it made many recommended treatments for above ground parking pedestals, including activating all non-service roads at street level, and providing architectural treatments on each side.

CompPlanParking

Arbor Row did a really good job of activating portions of their parking pedestal, and hiding the more functional sides of the garages at the rear of properties.

Rendering from WDG Architecture

 

Rendering by WDG Architecture

Another option, also implemented by WDG Architecture but not in Tysons, could be green vertical planters or other facade elements that can help to mask plain concrete or stone walls.

Rendering by WDG Architecture

The architecture of the Adaire building is too good to be detrimentally affected by an under-designed parking garage. What other concepts could help the building achieve its potential to be the best looking tower in Tysons?

 

  • Bill Johnson

    well it strikes me that they could have continued the curvy exterior elements down over the parking pedestal and then filled the space in with metal screens and vertical planting surfaces, as this would have blended the tower and the pedestal together. another option would be to add some metal framing and screening to break up the boxy nature of the pedestal, giving it a slightly more abstract form although that would go less well for this tower.

    In any event i hope it does not end up by itself for too long over there before it is joined by additional towers.

  • Brian

    The ‘College Board’ building at 11955 Democracy Dr. in Reston has a 7 story parking structure, but it’s artfully disguised by steel-mesh looking facade with ivy growing across it in some places. Something similar would greatly benefit the Adaire project.

    • Agreed. And it wouldn’t have to be the entire blank face, if you selectively place it you can break up the uniform concrete; just takes some attention to detail.

  • Great insights, but as you know, at Tysons it’s usually more about money than aesthetics.

    • Do you mean that it is too costly to do an aesthetic treatment on the garage or that the size of the pedestal is cost minded.

      I concur that the pedestal is as above ground as it is due to costs–in ground in that vicinity appears to be a non-starter for some reason judging by the number of above ground garages. And I agree aesthetic treatments like metal facades or vertical planters cost money that ultimately drive up costs which are passed on to the renters.

      But

      At the same time, curb appeal is a real thing. After all you rarely see unfinished gypsum houses, or stucco on single family homes. In those cases the home owners typically side for better materials, especially in higher end neighborhoods.

      Given the really strong aesthetic pushes being made by other developments in Tysons, Adaire should pay attention to the details and consider some cost conscience but effective improvements that can help improve that curb appeal and market it to the clientele I’m sure the rest of the building will attract.

  • Pingback: Adaire Parking Pedestal Softening? - inTysons()




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The 34-story Adaire apartments, the second high rise tower under construction by Greystar, is one of the marquee buildings currently rising in Northern Virginia. The circular and panoramic balconies, ambitious height, plans for a second adjoining tower, and unique facade treatments make it one of the few atypical and unexpected architectural works in our area. It has been fun […]

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