Planning department selects the best building designs in the county


The Montgomery County Planning Department announced the winners of its fifth biannual Design Excellence Awards competition at a banquet on October 21.

An independent jury of professionals in the field of architecture and design awarded three developments with Design Excellence Awards and two developments with special citations according to a Press release.

Shady Grove Universities received the Award for Excellence in Building and Site Design for their Biomedical Sciences and Engineering Building. Designed by Cooper Carry and Lake | Flato, the structure offers “views of nature and informal but inspiring places to collaborate”. It also holds the LEED Platinum designation – the highest environmental certification from the US Green Building Council – for its minimal impact on the region’s wetlands.

The Darcy and the Flats at Bethesda Avenue, designed by SK + I, received the Outstanding Multi-Family Housing Award. Once an underutilized public car park, the development now houses a mix of residences, businesses, outdoor spaces and expanded car parks. With a walking score of 95 out of 100, the jurors described the site as an “elegant urban infill project” which respects “the neighborhood and re-establishes the grid of the streets”.

The Wheaton Revitalization Project received the Public Project Design Award. The project is the result of a public-private partnership between Stonebridge, the Maryland-National Capital Park & ​​Planning Commission, and the Montgomery County Department of Transportation. Highlights of the project include a 200-seat auditorium, a 400-seat underground public car park and the Marian Fryer Town Square, according to the press release. Additionally, a 14-story mixed-use building that now serves as the planning department’s headquarters is the first Maryland government-owned office building to achieve LEED Platinum status.

The Wheaton Library and Community Center, which was designed by Grimm and Parker and developed by the County General Service Department, garnered a special citation for the innovative design of the public roommate. Jurors noted that the “building’s unique programmatic combinations transform a suburban site into a community ‘center’, offering bright indoor and outdoor spaces well connected to the elements of the indoor program, all anchored by a color palette celebrating the multicultural makeup. from the community.”

Bethesda’s Writer’s Center also received a Special Mention for Sustainable Building Reuse. Former youth center closed in 1970, the building now houses classrooms, lounges and a studio. McInturff Architects’ design has been hailed as “a simple yet elegant update and transformation of a modest existing structure, skillfully incorporating universal access, enhancing the institution’s civic presence.”

Ceoli Jacoby

On Ceoli Jacoby

Ceoli Jacoby is an editorial intern at Montgomery Community Media. Junior at the University of Maryland, she is pursuing a double major in multiplatform journalism and in government and politics. On campus, she is a writer for Stories Beneath the Shell. She can be contacted at [email protected]

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