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WASHINGTONIAN CENTER (Gaithersburg, Md.): Very good planning. Nice variation on aesthetics.

A stroll down main street

Washingtonian Center's urban design is based on three “place making” components: the main street, the public square and the lakefront park. The site is organized to create a lakefront park environment featuring a waterfront promenade and pedestrian bridge. Four mid-span, nautical-themed piers support the bridge's walkway. In the category of New or Renovated Open Centers, Baltimore-based RTKL Associates Inc. received an honorable mention for its design work on the project.

A public square at the intersection of main street and the lakefront bridge is an informal gathering place for year round events. Public art, seating, decorative lighting, specialty paving and shade trees provide an intimate, flexible-use space for the community.

Freestanding restaurants that animate the public spaces with outdoor café seating define the lakefront park and square. A clock tower pavilion based on small town main street precedents further landmarks of the town square.

Washingtonian Center's main street is modeled after a traditional small town main street. Three big-box retailers anchor the project, employing new, two-story store prototypes that reduce building footprints. The 75-ft. wide main street maintains an intimate scale and provides good visibility to all tenants. Seasonal landscaping, streetlights and benches contribute to the street's traditional character.


New or Renovated Open Centers


Award Recipient

RTKL Associates Inc.


Gary Bowden (principal-in-charge); Jim Leonard (project manager/project designer); Andrea Mains (landscape architect); Jonathan Rivera


The Peterson Cos.

Fairfax, Va.

Product Manufacturers/Suppliers: The Whiting Turner Contracting Co., Baltimore (contractor); L F Jennings Inc., Falls Church, Va. (contractor); Clark Construction Inc., Bethesda, Md. (contractor); F O Day Co. Inc., Rockville, Md. (contractor); RTKL Associates Inc., Baltimore (master planning and building design/landscape architect/graphics and signage); Rodgers & Associates Inc., Gaithersburg, Md. (civil engineer); Gary Steffy Lighting Design, Ann Arbor, Mich. (site lighting); Brown and Craig, Baltimore (tenant architect); The Care of Trees (environmental consultant); EIFS Supply, Stevensville, Md. (environmental consultant); Continental Bridge, Alexandria, Minn. (bridge consultant)

TAGS: Development
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