DC’s The Wharf Captures 2014 Charter Award

Perkins Eastman’s Washington, D.C., office has announced that two area projects by the design and architecture firm have been awarded 2014 Charter Awards from the Congress for the New Urbanism.
3_The Wharf_DP-View_Civic_Commons2 thumbnail

Washington, D.C.—Perkins Eastman’s Washington, D.C., office has announced that two area projects by the design and architecture firm have been awarded 2014 Charter Awards from the Congress for the New Urbanism (CNU).

The Charter Awards recognize excellence in urban design, from regional and neighborhood plans to urban buildings. In addition to being recognized for its Dunbar High School, Perkins Eastman saw its Southwest Waterfront, a project that broke ground in March, capture Best Neighborhood Plan from the CNU.

Also known as The Wharf, the Southwest Waterfront development is a mixed-use project that seeks to reconnect Washington, D.C., with its waterfront.

The Wharf encompasses 27 land and 24 water acres and will include 900 units of residential housing, including a mix of affordable, workforce and market-rate apartments and condominiums within a working waterfront.

Its first phase is projected to be complete in 2017. All of the Wharf’s new buildings are planned to attain a minimum of LEED Silver, with the entire development targeted for LEED-ND Gold.

Perkins Eastman is serving as master planner, design architect and architect of record for the public realm, infrastructure and buildings in two of the initial parcels. The design team is led by principal Stan Eckstut, FAIA, and associate principal Hilary Bertsch, AIA. Project developer is Hoffman-Madison Waterfront.

“The Wharf will be the next great place for those living and working in the District,” Bertsch tells MHN. “First and foremost, The Wharf is a waterfront neighborhood. The design of The Wharf’s public spaces will celebrate the District’s reconnection to the water, while recalling the working waterfront’s rich history and maritime activity. The Wharf will become a compelling, culture-rich neighborhood on the Potomac River.”

Two key challenges are confronting Perkins Eastman in designing The Wharf.

One is that the first phase must provide a critical mass of uses to ensure an active and exhilarating waterfront throughout day and evening, changing with every season of the year. “We only have one opportunity to create that very first impression of The Wharf,” Bertsch says.

Second, “although being built quickly, the design also seeks to become an authentic part of the city,” she reports.

It has taken nearly eight years to plan, design, finance, and secure public approvals and permits for the construction of The Wharf, Bertsch adds.

“We’ve designed a neighborhood of waterfront places with year-round vibrancy, and each one is independently intended to create an inviting and memorable environment,” she concludes.