Design Line
Monday, June 8 2015

Celebrating Design Excellence with AIA Northern Virginia

Bonstra | Haresign ARCHITECTS is pleased to announce that two projects, 11141 Georgia Avenue and Woodley Wardman, were recognized with Awards of Excellence in the 2015 AIA Northern Virginia Design Awards program. On Thursday, June 4th, our team celebrated this year’s award-winning projects with AIA NOVA at the Washington Library at Mount Vernon in Alexandria.


11141 Georgia Avenue : Breaking the Box

11141 Georgia Avenue was recognized with an Award of Excellence in Renovation/Adaptive Reuse.


11141 Georgia Avenue, a five-story, 1960s office building in Wheaton, Maryland had reached the end of its useful life. Its outdated, inefficient systems were no longer configured for current standards. Set in a rapidly redeveloping and transit-oriented district, the existing building was ideal for adaptation to residential use.

The 60′ width of the existing structure offered the perfect dimension for a double-loaded corridor opening onto light-filled, efficient apartments. The mid-century concrete structural frame and footings provide nearly 2.5 times the required live loads for today’s multifamily residential buildings. Following a structural analysis, an additional seven floors were added with nominal reinforcement, allowing for the repurposing of the low-profile existing structure into a sleek, 12-story, 194-unit apartment tower that frames and enhances the public realm.

The design incorporates the original building’s structural frame and brick cladding with a new structural steel frame clad in sympathetic masonry, stucco, metal composite panels, and new window systems. A carefully selected palette of materials and surface treatments knit together the new and old structures. A strong vertical element located at the northwest corner of the building establishes a unique identity for the building and highlights the entry along the street corridor. On the south facade, a metal grid creates a graphic billboard while tying old to new. A four-foot bay projection on the north adds area and caps the building with an amenity block.

“This is a fine example of being able to save an existing building and make it more vital. It’s creative. It’s more densely developed, and through the use of materials and color, the scale of the building is quite appropriate,” remarked juror Frank Harmon, FAIA.

Congratulations to our client, Lowe Enterprises, to our general contractor, The Whiting-Turner Contracting Company, and to our talented staff and consultants including  SR/A Interior Architecture & Design, Greenshape LLC, Lerch, Early & Brewer, Chtd., Rathgeber Goss Associates, Johnson Bernat Associates, Jennerik Engineering, Inc., Bethel Specifications Consulting, Polysonics Acoustics, and Gilmore Lighting Design.

11141 Georgia Avenue was previously recognized with the Best Renovation Superlative for the Washington Business Journal Best Real Estate Deals of 2014 Awards and a First Award in Renovation for the Montgomery County Affordable Housing Conference Design Awards.


 11141 Georgia Avenue Photography © Anice Hoachlander.



Woodley Wardman : A Contemporary Residential Archetype Enhancing Its Historic Context

Woodley Wardman was recognized with an Award of Excellence in Historic Projects.


Located prominently within the Woodley Park Historic District of Washington, DC, Woodley Wardman is a 39-unit residential adaptive re-use project that respectfully integrates a contemporary addition behind four restored historic townhouses built by Harry Wardman, a prolific depression-era developer.

Sixteen units have been inserted behind the preserved facades of the townhouses with an additional 23 units in a new 7-story urban-infill tower, constructed behind and below the townhouses. Since Woodley Wardman is an infill project on a tight lot, designing a spacious feel for the luxury condos was challenging. The design staggers the massing of the new construction to respect the massing of the original townhouses while creating numerous roof decks. The design carves out a courtyard to allow all units access to natural light and ventilation. Units range from studios to 3-bedroom penthouses; all contain open floor plans with luxurious finishes in contemporary kitchens and baths as well as state-of-the-art technology. In the tower, penthouses contain private terraces and balconies and many offer views of the central courtyard or the greenery of Rock Creek Park.

“This was a project that really speaks to several things. First, to the way that these very beautiful historic rowhouses have been restored and also to the way that this contemporary building was inserted behind it. It was inserted in a way that doesn’t overshadow or overwhelm the rowhouses. The insertion of the courtyard between the two marks a clear separation between new and old. It was a very sensitive addition,” noted the jury panel.

The resulting Woodley Wardman project is a testament to the successful collaboration of many parties in developing a contemporary design that boosts urban density while restoring and preserving the historic work of a prolific developer, Harry Wardman. Congratulations to our client, MMg Development, and to our talented staff and consultants: Renovations Unlimited, Rathgeber Goss Associates, EHT Traceries, Pillsbury Winthrop, and Capitol Engineering Group.

Woodley Wardman was previously recognized with an Award of Merit for the Builders Choice Custom Home Design Awards and a Best Mid-Atlantic Condominium Award for the Delta Associates Awards for Excellence.


Woodley Wardman Photography © Max Mackenzie.