2016 MFE AwardsMixed Income, Grand
Max Zhang, IRIS 22 Productions Sheridan Station

On a very visible, blighted, 11.6-acre site where a failed public housing project once stood, SK+I Architecture designed a handsome complex with input from its community. And though it took almost eight years from start to completion, the wait proved worthwhile.

Project Details

Location: Washington, D.C.
Developer/Builder: WC Smith Construction
Architect: SK+I Architecture
Project opened: March, 2015
Number of units: 327
Unit mix: Rental, studio, one, two, and three bedrooms; for sale, one, two, and three bedrooms
Rents: $843 to $1,257 for public housing residents who pay 30% of their income; workforce residents pay 60% of their income; average price of for-sale units, $296,000

The building, which comprises 327 units in a mix of rentals and for-sale housing—all ranging in size from studios to three bedrooms—reflects the comprehensive approach the team took in its planning by considering social, economic, aesthetic, and environmental concerns. The housing choices provide a mix of styles and prices, from workforce to market rate to low income, since the area, in Southeast Washington, has the highest unemployment and poverty rates in D.C.

Environmental decisions were important and met LEED Platinum certification standards, based on the development’s stormwater management and large solar photovoltaic systems, green roofs, large rain garden, and Energy Star lighting and appliances. The development team also resolved topography challenges posed by the narrow site, which had large grade differentials of up to 110 feet and low areas prone to flooding. Yet, its location presented positive social and economic benefits, with a close-by Metrorail stop and the opening of a private family medical practice on-site that offers health-care and educational programs to residents.

In addition, once Sheridan Station was completed, it became a place where residents could be permanently relocated from the public housing project, Barry Farm.