Working with the District of Columbia Housing Authority (DCHA), Torti Gallas designed the revitalization of Highland Dwellings, an affordable housing community in Southeast Washington, DC. The community, which included World War II era brick townhouse buildings, a community management office and a maintenance shop lacked connectivity with the rest of the City due to its location east of the river and along the #1 most dangerous intersection in the District (Scout Pro).
The transformation of this resilient community includes a new 24-unit apartment building, a new community center and management office. This contemporary California-styled building is characterized by simple, clean lines; well-defined indoor versus outdoor spaces; angled “butterfly” roofs; and use of attractive, durable, and sustainable materials. Building massing responds to the surrounding architecture by diminishing in height as it ascends Atlantic Street, breaking up the façade to mimic the scale of the existing WWII era townhouses.
Through a holistic community design approach with Highland residents, Torti Gallas focused efforts on: breaking up the “superblocks”; introducing new, safe pedestrian mews which provide linkages through the site and capitalize on DC views; providing a neighborhood garden; a neighborhood green on axis with the new community building and management office; new play areas; a unique identity of building facades, and clearly identified front and rear porches.
The project is designed to meet Green Communities requirements.