With dynamic interplays of form, materiality, hierarchy, and scale, the residential tower infuses new life into a growing commercial district near Amazon’s HQ2 in Arlington, Virginia.
Situated just minutes from Washington, D.C., 2000 South Bell Street is integral to the redevelopment of National Landing spurred by Amazon’s decision to bring its second headquarters to the region. Plans for National Landing include new offices, apartments, and hotels intended to create an 18-hour, mixed-use destination for residents, visitors, and employees. 2000 South Bell and the surrounding residential developments will help accommodate the expected influx of talent drawn to the region and offer more housing options for both longtime residents and newcomers. Bryan Moll, Executive Vice President at JBG SMITH, the project’s developer, highlights the groundbreaking as “a major milestone in National Landing’s ongoing transformation” and praises the design of 2000 South Bell Street as “a testament to our efforts to create a more animated and diverse urban environment.”
2000 South Bell Street’s massing comprises three major moves – a human-scaled ground level; a taller form facing the adjacent highway; and, offset at an angle, a slightly shorter component. The base of the building incorporates retail space along the busier streets, where wide sidewalks accommodate an active pedestrian presence. Around the corner on South Bell Street, the residential entrance is nestled in the corner to give residents and visitors a softer approach. The design of this portion of the building, with intricate stonework and both horizontal and vertical elements, evokes intimacy with the ground plane while setting the tone for the towers above. Along the highway, the taller massing elongates and its façade expression is rendered vertically, defining the wall in relation to Richmond Parkway. The shorter volume responds to the adjacent buildings with a single-story, horizontal articulation. Taken as a whole, 2000 South Bell Street offers an energetic texture and scale within a canyon of mostly uniform, precast buildings.
“When designing 2000 South Bell Street, we kept its place in the neighborhood top of mind,” said Trent Tesch, KPF Design Principal. “The two distinct façade patterns respond to their immediate context and gracefully transition into each other with a zipper-like balcony design. We also designed several units to have external space and intentionally located them to take advantage of sunlight and provide optimal views. By positioning the building along the southern edge of the site and tapering the massing, we minimize shadow to the northern reaches of the site. We’re thrilled to see construction start on this project, and when complete, the building will add scale, character, and life to its place at National Landing.”
With three communal terraces, the project’s architecture emphasizes an indoor-outdoor experience for residents. The rooftop offers an east and west gathering space with connection to a southern facing pool and deck, and intermediate terraces allow residents to experience urban density with views of D.C. and the city’s monuments. The form of the lower tower maximizes corners so that many of the apartments also include private terraces. 2000 South Bell Street’s other amenities include a fitness center, 24-hour concierge service, co-working spaces, community rooms, and dog-grooming stations. In-garage bike parking and electric vehicle charging stations will also be available for residents. Along with its unanimous approval by the Arlington County Board, a substantial community benefits package includes funding for a new library in National Landing as well as dedicated parks, among other infrastructure improvements.
The building offers easy access to the Crystal City Metro, a planned regional rail (VRE) connection, and an upcoming pedestrian bridge linking National Landing to Reagan National Airport. According to JBG SMITH, 2000 South Bell Street will “benefit from the planned redesign of Route 1, which will bring portions of the roadway to grade and feature a pedestrian-friendly design with large sidewalks intended to improve and promote walkability.”
2000 South Bell Street is the latest of several recent KPF-designed domestic residential projects to achieve major milestones. Heron, an award-winning, wellness-oriented building recently opened in Tampa’s Water Street neighborhood, while Arthaus, the firm’s first residential project in Philadelphia, is slated for completion this spring.
The project expands KPF’s growing D.C. portfolio, which includes 17xM, an innovative downtown office building that broke ground late last year, 1900 N Street, also developed by JBG SMITH, and 1000 Maine, which offers flexible, next generation workspace at The Wharf.
Read more about 2000 South Bell Street’s groundbreaking here.