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.
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.
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.
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?