Located in the increasingly bustling Ballston neighborhood in Arlington, Va., outside Washington, D.C., The Maxwell is small but packed with everything a developer might wish for. The five-story, mixed-use building that replaced an old Goodyear unit and single-family home lies within walking distance of a Metrorail stop near major retail and commercial centers and on the same street as a grocery store.
The building’s design reflects how cost efficiency in material choices doesn’t have to equal bland. Its wood frame sits atop a one-story podium concrete frame with parking placed at grade and in three subterranean levels. To create buzz for millennials, the KTGY-designed façade mixes traditional materials—the latter to respect the area, such as brick masonry and neutral colored stone—with modern metal panels and glass so the street level comes alive.
Sidewalks were widened and new street trees planted. An L-shaped design created room for a small courtyard away from street view, a nice amenity for millennials who seek outdoor space, light, and views. Because this demographic also wants shared interior spaces, the team included a fitness center, a business center, a lounge, and dining areas, all with a novel modern and homey vibe. And even though this cohort is willing to make do with smaller units, millennials want personalized spaces—hence the unusual variety of layouts.
LEED Gold certification resulted from the team’s decision to develop the brownfield site; use a TPO (thermoplastic polyolefin) single-ply roof that reduces the heat-island effect; landscape with water-efficient choices; choose regional materials; and install smart thermostats in individual units.