Anice Hoachlander

The new Belgard apartment community offers a thoughtful take on the gritty yet hip NoMa (North of Massachusetts) neighborhood in Northeast Washington, D.C., by providing excellent amenities and a unit mix that offers a variety of pricing options. The community is defined by a mid-block building designed to maximize density. The design includes two black metal and glass forms, nicknamed “the wings,” that extend from the core frame of the building and house smaller units, while forming three intimate courtyard spaces.

The extended design of the wings provides the smaller units with views into the courtyards maximized by floor-to-ceiling glass, while end units take advantage of an additional outside wall.

The depth of the outside wall to the core along the courtyards is deeper than typical, which creates junior one-bedroom units whose living spaces also edge the courtyard. All of the inside corner units have layouts that take advantage of the square footage by creating open living spaces with courtyard views.

A distinct living space separated from the cooking and bathing areas helps the space live larger while removing studio stigma. Closets, washers and dryers, and bathroom access are positioned off the short entry corridor. The living area beyond the corridor is a very furnishable rectangular space with a compact kitchen on one end, aided by two uninterrupted walls of usable length. This efficient space even allows for a small two-top dining table.

The unit interiors use reclaimed wood with metal accents as well as pops of modern bright colors. Micro units are staged with murphy beds, and the combination of wood, stainless steel, and glossy white cabinetry used in the kitchens feel like furniture. Double-height units edging the glass frame feature brick trim that continues from the building exterior to connect the outdoor to the indoor space.