The Earl

Photo Credit © Max Zhang, Iris22 Productions

Arlington, Va.
Designed by WDG

Clarendon West is a landmark redevelopment of the former Red Top Cab properties located between the Clarendon and historic Lyon Village neighborhoods of Arlington. The two-phase project consists of three multifamily residential buildings totaling 581,000 SF, with 600 units and 3,500 SF of retail within six-, eight- and eleven-story building masses on two non-contiguous sites.

The Earl was Phase I of this project, consisting of 333 units in two buildings located at the corner of 13th Street and Washington Boulevard. Their rectangular shape eased construction while Phase II, the more geometrically complex structure, awaited road and infrastructure commitments to be completed. Community connection and contextualism is prominent, carefully bridging the divide between the low-slung single-family housing of Lyon Village and the built-up density around Clarendon Metro. The new buildings have modern architectural character with the nuances of brick residential charm. The scaling from lower to higher density gracefully connects to the older established neighborhood. This includes residences with street-level stoop entry along 13th Street, mirroring the character and scale of the adjacent residences. The two buildings connect with shared interior courtyards along a newly introduced stretch of 12th Street, for a continuous outdoor volume. 

Photo Credit © Max Zhang, Iris22 Productions

Masonry was chosen as the primary façade material because it complements the dominant character of the neighborhood while maintaining a sophisticated contemporary aesthetic. The primary massing heights of the block, which step at fifty-five, eighty-five and one hundred and ten feet, have their own unique masonry palettes. These varied selections help control the scale of the buildings’ masses and reinforce their relationships to the zoning requirements. In completing the overall aesthetic, the brick used in the project is contrasted with composite metal panel expressions that frame openings and larger vertical elements. These include the framed metal bays in the larger masonry field on 13th St that create a more proportional sense of scale opposite the smaller residences across the street.

Photo Credit © Max Zhang, Iris22 Productions

One sustainability focus for LEED Gold certification was based upon a ‘Top Down’ bioretention strategy for stormwater pollution and prevention. Bioretention cells control rainwater from elevated green roofs downward to green space rain gardens with sidewalk tree swales over a dropped slab in the garage and use of cisterns. The Earl’s ground-level bio retention is incorporated into the streetscape, front stoops, and setback roofs to bring the collection and filtration closer to the source.

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Published: 02/13/2024
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