An infill development in Washington D.C.’s fast-growing NoMA neighborhood—named for its location north of Massachusetts Avenue—77H supports the city’s aim for a dense, mixed-use, transit-oriented community while replacing a once-blighted industrial area. The project encompasses 303 apartments above two levels of below-grade parking and a 76,000-square-foot Walmart—the first to open in the District.
The design team’s primary task was blending the project’s aesthetic with the existing neighborhood structures. They created an exterior to mimic the façades and brick detailing of nearby buildings, particularly the adjacent historic Government Printing Office. Rusticated bases, deep recessed windows, jack arch lintels, and stone cornices blend perfectly with the surrounding structures and and convey a design integrity rarely seen in multifamily projects, the judges noted.
With large glass panes and steel joints, the building’s southwest corner provides a striking counterpoint to the federalist vibe. They cantilever to reveal the Walmart vestibule and apartment amenities including a dramatic rooftop pool and lounge, fitness center, and two internal courtyards. “The way they interjected that glass courtyard is gorgeous,” raved one judge.
The construction team faced a demanding schedule, complicated by the constraints of the small site that required material delivery via tower crane and staging within one narrow city block. The developer and builder worked hard to guarantee a smooth working relationship not only with Walmart and city officials, but also a private high school adjacent to the site. They gave school administrators approval rights over several of the building’s façades. Their hard work, planning, and diplomacy paid off, said the jury members: “It’s really well done.”
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