Jeff Goldberg

The Channel is the most complex residential anchor of the first phase of the District Wharf, a landmark $3.2 billion redevelopment of the southwest waterfront in Washington, D.C. The program includes multistory retail, rooftop amenity spaces, below-grade parking, and The Anthem, which is a 6,000-seat music hall.

The residential component features two 12-story residential towers with 501 apartment units. The Channel’s exterior design helps to seamlessly blend the performance venue with the residences and the architectural landscape of The Wharf.

The unit design provides new urban housing for millennials with a mix of one- and two-bedroom units, as well as the District’s first micro-units of 300 to 350 square feet. To maximize open space, the micro-units include built-in furniture and cabinetry, rightsized appliances, wall beds, and large windows. Select units feature French doors with Juliet balconies opening to the exterior.

The Channel strives to improve residents’ quality of life by providing personal gardens, a communal lawn, and a 40-foot infinity pool overlooking the Washington Channel.

The interior design blends an industrial aesthetic with the modern comfort that is expected in today’s rental market. Units are equipped with floor-to-ceiling windows to optimize daylighting and views, while the use of LED fixtures and recycled materials improve indoor environmental quality.

The redevelopment of the waterfront began with an RFP to generate a new vision for the site. By the final approval, architect Perkins Eastman DC had coordinated and participated in more than 500 community meetings. To complete the vision, two acts of Congress were required to narrow the Channel and allow the public to occupy the waterfront in a new way.

The Channel’s environmental strategies include a roof-mounted, natural gas-fired, micro-turbine, co-generation unit that generates electricity while harvesting waste heat for residential domestic hot water. There’s also a solar panel array and an extensive green roof. The project replaced a single-story structure with a 12-story building, set at a vertical elevation above the 100-year flood stage to protect the habitable floors from floodwaters. The Channel increases density in a transportation-rich location while also increasing resiliency and safety for residents.