The Canvas, in the rapidly developing Hyattsville Arts District, not only fills a physical gap in the area’s urbanism, but also provides market-rate rental with ground floor retail to serve both the building and the surrounding community. The building’s location capitalizes on the recent development of the Arts District Townhouses and Shops. Sited adjacent to the active Route 1 corridor and the historic Armory Building of Hyattsville (currently home to the Crossover Church), The Canvas completes the western edge of the retail corridor. The building delivers two plazas and a gracious sidewalk that encourage café seating and outdoor dining options. Both are strong urban gestures to the public domain and the pedestrian experience.
In the spirit of the Arts District, public art and tactical urbanism have preemptively been implemented on-site in the form of the Polka Dot Park and pop-up galleries. The new building facilitates the continuation of these types of activities in the form of murals and the plazas as potential locations to house vibrant life and create a spatial draw in the future. All of these things combined help to create a sense of place in Hyattsville and re-frame this part of Route 1, making it a place to gather and linger on foot, rather than pass through quickly in a vehicle.