Design Brief | MV+A’s Continuous Connection with Tysons West
DESIGN BRIEF | AUGUST 2017
TYSONS CORNER, VIRGINIA
For over ten years MV+A has been working with JBG Rosenfeld, The JBG Company, and now JBG SMITH on Tysons West, transforming a 16-acre site that was home to two car dealerships and a hotel into one of the most sought after sites in Tysons, adjacent to the Spring Hill Metro Station. The site, at the intersection of the Dulles Toll Road and Leesburg Pike, is an ideal location for the evolving mixed-use development.
The first phase of Tysons West included the adaptive re-use of a parking garage that once belonged to the car dealerships, as well as the addition of 104,000 square feet of retail, a 48,000 square foot fitness center, and a 29,000 square foot office tower. It integrated large format retail, a fitness center, a medical office building, parking and street level retail within and beside the existing parking structure. A series of streetscapes, plazas, and walkways create a pedestrian-oriented shopping and entertainment experience. MV+A also designed the project’s graphics, signage and wayfinding. Phase One was completed in 2013. It received and AIA Potomac Valley Merit Award in 2014 and a Fairfax County Exceptional Design Merit Award in Mixed-Use also in 2014.
As construction on the first phase wound down, MV+A was asked to lead master planning and rezoning efforts to take full advantage of site’s strategic location near the new Spring Hill Metro Station. Located on the transit system’s expanding Silver Line, the site is a western gateway to Tysons Corner. MV+A master planned the future growth of the site, planning a mid-rise and high rise building with extensive retail programs, renovations for the existing Sheraton Hotel, a new network of walkable streets, and a variety of open spaces and parks. MV+A worked to obtain approvals for the full development through the Conceptual Development Plan process in Fairfax County. When complete, the development will include over 400,000 square feet of office space, 669 residential units, over 250,000 square feet of retail, and over 349,000 square feet of hotel space.
Currently MV+A is designing four new retail buildings for Tysons West on a site destined to see high rise development in the future. Building on the success of MV+A’s earlier designs and planning, Tysons West Phase III provides a development of temporary, “pop-up” buildings organized around surface-parking. This development was envisioned in the master plan as an interim solution that will ultimately be replaced by two high rise towers. Its prime location on a major metro and vehicular hub makes the site attractive to retailers and very convenient to people who will frequent the fast-casual restaurants and service retailers that are anticipated tenants. The four, single-story retail buildings combine to add to 22,800 square feet of additional retail to Tysons West.
MV+A TEAM FEATURE
STOCKHOLM, SWEDEN | TRAVEL NOTEBOOK
I visited Stockholm while on vacation in late April. While much of DC was experiencing a freak heat wave, Stockholmites were welcoming their first day of the warm sunny climes of 55F. Consequently, every patch of grass that caught the sun was commandeered by sunning swedes. Having failed at pre-vacation research, I had no idea what Stockholm had to offer. I was pleasantly surprised to find that Stockholm had a great, super accessible waterfront and plenty of interesting neighborhoods to enjoy. It’s a walkable city that made it easy to top 30,000 steps daily. Unawaredly, my trip to Stockholm took me a step closer to envisioning what has always been a fascination – a private library with books all around and stacked high enough to require ladders and elevated galleries.
One of my walks took me by the Stockholm Public Library by Swedish architect Gunnar Asplund. It makes for an odd building with a rounded cylinder atop a hulking square base – like a two-tiered wedding cake. Weirdly, it reminded me of the US capitol building – a dome sitting on a sprawling base. Yes, this was 1920’s functionalism on full display. Once inside the building, a series of stairs and corridors took me through the square base, eventually leading me to a climactic flight of steps leading me into the belly of the rounded cylinder. Here I found myself surrounded by intimately scaled, circular, seemingly endless tiers of books, galleries and stairs.
The ‘aha’ moment didn’t end here. What appeared to be tiers of books, stacked one on top of the other, weren’t actually so. The upper tiers successively widened to allow for circumferential galleries. However, I think they appeared stacked because of the illusion created by, 1) the lack of corners in a circular layout, and 2) slender barely seen railings and structure for the circular galleries. It was hard to resist going around in circles and perusing the collection on display in this room. Built in the 1920’s the reading room eschews the grandness and filigree seen in famous reading rooms like the Rose Main Reading Room at New York Public Library, 42nd Street and Fifth Avenue location. However, the results in a comfortable space allowing a viewer to fantasize about this being his/her own personal reading room.