Torti Gallas + Partners is proud to have received a 2017 Congress for the New Urbanism Charter Award for Park Van Ness in Washington, DC. This beautiful Art Deco building has revitalized a rather bleak portion of Washington, DC’s Connecticut Avenue by replacing a midgrade commercial building with a vibrant mixed use development. An existing surface parking lot was replaced with a landscaped court. The building massing has been sculpted to reveal a view from the landscaped courtyard out to Rock Creek Park behind the building. The considerable change in grade from the street level down to the park allows for 11 stories of prime view residential units on the back while maintaining a sensitive 6 stories of height at Connecticut Avenue.
Great care was given to maintain the “Art” in the Art Deco language. There are numerous custom decorative precast panels located throughout the main facade which evoke their design themes from the adjacent parkland. Additionally, two custom sculptures were commissioned which bookend the archway into the park as well as numerous custom paintings throughout the public spaces, again inspired by the adjacent park. The Art Deco vocabulary was carried to the rear of the building, but gave it a more porous facade with extensive glazing, visually immersing the rear-facing units into the park.
CNU jury member Daniel Solomon said, "CNU recognizes good urban architecture, and this is some of the best that I have seen - it's a big urban gesture."
The combination of quality design for both the exterior facades and the interior spaces combined with the incredible views of the park make this building one of DC’s best addresses.