2008 MFE Awards
Merit: High-Rise

Submitted by: WHA Architecture + Planning Shirlington Village in Arlington, Va., is undergoing a transformation?shifting from rows of parking spaces to higher-density development. Io Piazza, designed by locally based WHA Architecture + Planning, and built by the Bethesda, Md., office of Bovis Lend Lease, anchors the northern edge of this emerging development.

On the lower levels, the project has a four- to five-story townhouse scale, with unit entrances on the sidewalk serving double-duty as a liner to screen the above-grade street parking. The exterior of the building is composed of a series of masonry bays in brick and precast belt courses, as well as aluminum and clear glass. The brick color was chosen to reflect residential use and integrate with other buildings in the area.

The interiors of the 244 units have open floor plans, exposed concrete ceilings, and floor-to-ceiling glass. The common areas are finished with industrial materials and lighting; brick, steel, and wooden walls and ceilings grace the main lobby. In addition, there's a green rooftop and a garden terrace on level five. In fact, the project has 20 LEED points. And the finishing touch? Public art appears at its Shirlington entrance.