This 175,000 square-foot project serves as a gateway to new mixed-use developments west of Old Town Alexandria. The project is located at the intersection of Duke Street and Holland Lane, the east boundary of the Carlyle Development, the U.S. Patent & Trade Office, and the Federal Courthouse. Its prominent position required MV+A Architects to respond to the historic language of the buildings to its east, as well as to the newer modern structures to its west. As a Planned Unit Development (PUD), the project required a rigorous approval process by the Alexandria Board of Architectural Review. In addition to responding to its context, this process influenced architectural features incorporated, such as sloped roofs and pilasters.
This urban project responds both to the neighborhood and its confined site. The first floor is occupied by a 42,000 square-foot Whole Foods Market, along with a 3,000 square-foot residential lobby. Parking and loading are accessed from a service alley. Three levels of residential space above the first floor retail include 116 luxury condominium units with a fitness center and a 10,000 square-foot outdoor courtyard/plaza accessed at the second floor. In addition, there are three levels of below-grade parking.
The structural solution that was both cost-effective and aesthetically pleasing was to use concrete construction for the garage, first and second floors, to form a podium to support three stories of wood framing for the residential component. Exterior materials consist primarily of granite stone, with brick pilasters extending from the first floor to the roof to integrate the retail with the residential above. Two brick tones with cast stone pieces and stucco are used as accent pieces. Overall the materials are traditional in nature, to blend with historic Old Town Alexandria, but their use in a modern building addresses the design of more recent developments.