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Trans Principle 4

Trans Principle 4

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Published by Vena Cava

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Published by: Vena Cava on Jun 03, 2011
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A
ttractive buildings and spaces contribute toa positive neighborhood identity and engag-ing pedestrian environment. Quality andappropriate architecture integrates all components ofa compact neighborhood and carefully accommo-dates the intensity of activity necessary to a success-ful transit area without changing the positive charac-ter of the community.
Principle Four: Attractive Architecture & Design
PRINCIPLE FOUR: ATTRACTIVE ARCHITECTURE& DESIGN
THE IMPORTANCE OF A WELL DESIGNED ENVIRONMEN
CONCEPTS
Attractive, appropriate architecture and design…
Accommodates increased densities with sensitive andappropriate design.Provides transitions in density and scale to connect newdevelopment with the existing neighborhood.Provides buildings and spaces that interact with street lifeand create a safe and attractive environment.Promotes site design that creates pedestrian places andmanages the presence of automobile traffic.
New buildings should reflect and define the neighbor-hood. Large streets, such as Pennsylvania Avenue, needlarger buildings to define the edge of the public space.
 
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GUIDELINES
A. Utilize distinctive architecture to helpdefine neighborhood identity and character.
Design buildings of appropriate scale andmassing with distinctive architecture to high-light important or significant places withinthe neighborhood.Promote contemporary architecture thatintroduces interest and diversity. While build-ings must be sensitive to the character ofneighborhoods outside of historic districts, itis not necessary for all buildings to adopt his-toric styles.Provide site design that is responsive to com-munity priorities concerning public space andparking.
B. Emphasize quality architecture and designto create a pedestrian environment withdistinctive character.
Design the ground floor facades of all build-ings to maximize transparency, architecturaldetails, multiple entrances, and interestingsignage and lighting.Avoid blank walls along major streets orpedestrian pathways.Provide frequent and attractive entrances intobuildings along the street wall. (Refer toPrinciple Four: a pedestrian-friendly environ-ment, for more strategies for relating build-ings to a pedestrian environment.)
Principle Four: Attractive Architecture & Design
Architectural details help reinorce the character of a community whether it is historic Capitol Hill (above) orthe Asian influences in Chinatown (below).DCs new storeront design guidelines encourage attrac-tive signage, front doors andwindow displays to create amore interesting and attrac-tive neighborhood streetscape. Source: Nelson Architects
 
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C. Integrate higher density commercial, resi-dential and mixed uses into the existing neighborhood to support activity and safety.
Utilize innovative and sensitive design ele-ments to combine all new and existing landuses into one complimentary attractive envi-ronment. Encourage architectural details and variedfaçade materials to visually break up tallerbuildings or those of great mass.Step upper floors of buildings back to relateto the smaller scale of the existing neighbor-hood.
Principle Four: Attractive Architecture & Design
Visually tie together buildings of differentscales and uses to create one identity usingsimilar details, materials and transitions onscale. Orient building entrances toward transit toencourage transit use and create a vibrantpublic realm around buildings and transitareas.
A traditional block near one of the District’s transit stopsincludes a variety of opportunities for housing and retail with varying heights and styles of buildings that work together to create an interesting streetscape. Source: Tara Penders Contemporary design can add interest, new residents, and critical activity to a neighborhood street.
ANATOMY OF A BLOCK
On blocks near transit areas in the District of Columbia you will find a number of diff erent uses, building types and building heights. This isnormal for many urban neighborhoods. Imagine walking around a typical block. On thecorner you may find an elegant old eight storyapartment building. Next door is a row of smaller, four story multi-family homes along side 2 to 3story row houses. At the far corner is a neighbor- hood corner store with a residence above it andsingle-family homes extending down the block.At the next corner, you encounter some attrac-tive condominium buildings about 6 stories inheight. At the fourth corner is a large retail building with shops, offices and residential units.Parking is accommodated behind the building atthe interior of the block.You can find this block, or a variation on it,throughout the District. Some blocks may havemore single-family houses, some may be withoutretail, but many will have a diversity of housingtypes and densities occurring on the block. Thisvariation of use and building heights adds inter-est to the block, as well as activity and safety tothe neighborhood.

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