Design Brief | Wiehle Reston Transformation
DESIGN BRIEF | FEBRUARY 2017
Currently the short walk from Michael Faraday Drive to the Wiehle Reston Station (at the end of the Silver Line) would require you to walk over curbs, landscaping, and low-density development – but that will soon be changing.
Architect Brian Szymanski explains, “We have been collaborating with a team of developers and planners to create a street grid that opens this entire area up to a transit-oriented and pedestrian-oriented community.” This street grid is to support MV+A’s current design for Rooney Properties, which includes two 7 story rental apartment buildings, ground floor retail, and 26 townhomes arranged around a network of public parks.
Joined by proposals by JBG, EYA, Pulte Homes, and others, Sunset Hills/Michael Faraday Drive is part of a pivotal transformation taking place in the walkability and livability of Reston. In particular, we designed the buildings to establish a grander commercial feel at the corner of Michael Faraday Drive and Reston Station Boulevard, transitioning to a quieter residential character enhanced by the 3 connected park spaces.
Seen below, the apartments feature smaller bays adjacent to the townhomes to create a similar scale despite height differences between the buildings. Balconies and terraces also bring activity and human scale to the 2 mews-parks between the townhomes and apartments, contributing to the feel of a welcoming and pedestrian-oriented living space.
MV+A TEAM FEATURE
Alyssa Hutchison graduated from Georgia Tech and has since been back home in DC, contributing to MV+A’s urban planning and mixed-use design teams.
“I had a teacher tell me once that no place is ever going to be perfect, but it’s our job, as architects and planners, to leave places better than we found them. I try to keep that in mind at work but I think it’s also applicable to life.”
“My dad was supposed to take me on a post-grad school trip to Australia. I really would love to see the Sydney Opera House. I’m hoping we can make it happen this year considering I finished grad school in 2015. (Hi, Dad!)”
“What drew me to architecture is that it is about establishing a problem, then solving it. People approach problems differently, and MV+A is small enough and open enough that everyone’s perspective can contribute.”