2006-05-11, 14:58

Mixed-use project in Maryland wins AIA award

By: Jonathan Groner
A mixed-use project in Mount Rainier, Md., has received the prestigious American Institute of Architects' 2006 Housing Committee Award. The award will be formally granted on June 9, 2006, at the AIA convention and design expo in Los Angeles.

The project, Live/Work Artists' Housing, opened in 2005. It created 44 units of housing for artists and their families in a new four-story building just a block from the District of Columbia border. Mount Rainier is an older, close-in D.C. suburb in Prince Georges County, and the building is the first completed phase of an initiative involving four such suburbs that joined forces to create the Gateway Arts District.

The master plan is intended to create affordable housing and arts-oriented venues and services in order to revitalize these suburbs -- which include Brentwood, North Brentwood, and Hyattsville as well as Mount Rainier -- and to draw artists from local colleges and neighborhoods to an arts district.

According to the AIA's citation, "Eighteen unit types recognize individuals and families with adaptable layouts that maximize flexible open space and allow for living changes, work, and exhibit needs. Two-story central commons areas provide space for exhibits. A large workshop is provided on the lower level with access to the outside. A colorful exterior attempts to knit together the appearance of the historic neighborhood while reflecting the diversity of the inhabitants and their work."

The project features 7,000 square feet of commercial space on the ground floor in a total area of 68,441 square feet.

For more information, please turn to http://www.artspaceusa.org/my_files/properties/mountrainier/mountrainier_property.pdf

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