32C — March 19 - April 15, 2021 — The Best of 2020 — M id A tlantic Real Estate Journal
The BEST ARCHITECTURE of 2020
Murray Associates Architects, P. C. D&H Distributors New Corporate Headquarters
JL Architects Cedar Park Shopping Center Vienna, VA
Urbahn Architects BelovED Charter High School Jersey City, NJ
Type of project: Repositioning Size: 80,673 s/f
Type of project: New Charter High School Size: 53,000 s/f The new four-story high school will serve students in grades 9 to 12. 20 full-sized classrooms, 4 half-classrooms, a gymnasi - um, a multi-purpose room, and a large cafetorium are located on higher floors. 360 students will attend the school. Due to the small, half-acre size of the site, Urbahn had to be particu - larly creative in developing and maximizing a functional pro - gram. The parcel is within a FEMA-designated flood zone, so Urbahn specified all programmed space and critical systems on the second through fourth floors. The ground level is dedi - cated to parking, building access, and recreation. The upper floors are structurally cantilevered above the parking lot. Why was this particular job your favorite/most unusual? BelovED Charter School serves students from under - served sections of Jersey City, which made this project very satisfying. Although designed to be built within a limited budget, the school features excellent educational facilities, including 18 comfortable classrooms, laborato - ries, a large gymnasium, and even an elevated Ecology Deck – an outdoors ecology and biology teaching space, where students will perform experiments with plants and observe various microenvironments.
Cedar Park Shopping Center is a staple of the Vienna, VA retail landscape – the only shopping center within a 2-mile radius. It was built in many stages starting in the 1950’s. In 2017 the owner, First Washington Realty, targeted the asset for an upgrade to improve performance and service to the community. JL Architects identified the need to create a community gathering space and to enhance the experiential nature of visiting Cedar Park Shopping Center. Features that contribute to that goal include the updated façade with new signage, greater street visibility, outdoor gathering spaces and benches, new general and accent lighting, bike parking, a new parking field with superior handicap accessibility, and EV charging stations. The center now presents a “small-town” feel and a place to meet. Why was this particular job your favorite/most unusual? We feel strongly that commercial centers are a core foundation of a strong community. Without First Washington’s dedication and willingness to make the investment the community would be left with just another outdated and underutilized strip center. What single aspect do you like the best? Outside of how pleased we are with the overall appearance, we feel the new wayfinding signage and sustainability features create a greater community awareness. Sustainability features include the bioretention/rain garden and EV charging.
Location: Harrisburg, PA Type of project: Renovation Size: 244,512 gsf
A 1970’s office was transformed into modern work - space affording the company to double their staff of 750 people. There is a new full-service cafeteria, game room, contemporary workspaces, multiple break and meeting rooms, a Data Center, an Innovation Lab and a two-story slide. Why was this particular job your favorite/most unusual? The original space was dark and claustrophobic. Removing portions o f the second floor for an amphitheater created a welcoming collaborative work environment. Many sustainable design features were utilized including removing the perimeter offices providing natural light into the core and a new open-plan layout requires less energy for heating and cooling. Twelve new windows; a skylight; LED lighting; recycled carpeting; repurposed furniture; reflective ceilings and low flow plumbing were also incorporated.
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