The Springs was born out of a community goal to better its environment and standard of life for all.
Conceptually the building was always thought as a type of bridge and is a reflection of connectivity between a diverse group of people. And among a sea of like-minded red brick and inward looking buildings The Springs stands on the corner as a nod to the future of mixed-use affordable housing developments. The Springs, a mixed-use, mixed-income apartment community located in Ballston is a five-story, 104-unit development that includes 98 new affordable residential units and is the new headquarters for the Arlington Partnership for Affordable Housing (APAH), the only affordable housing developer operating solely in Arlington County. The project is situated on a transitional street on the western edge of the Rosslyn / Ballston corridor. It’s massing is designed to bridge that transition, sitting with one foot in the urban context of Ballston and the other in the surrounding Bluemont neighborhood.
In order to bridge the gap between a bustling commercial area and a quiet suburban neighborhood through, the building massing and programming was delicately balanced and composed in a few ways. On the commercial side the textural brick mass is lifted to reveal the headquarters of the Arlington Partnership for Affordable Housing and to relate to its taller neighbors. And on the opposite end of the building adjacent to the single family homes the brick mass politely steps down and incorporates residential stoops, creating a more intimate and human scale. A large courtyard along the street engages the public realm and utilizes brick portals accented by red panels to invite everyone within. A playful and textural atmosphere is created inside the courtyard with highlights of red among a collage of beige and gray tones. And a private second story patio along with apertures into the internal corridors peers down onto the public courtyard, activating both public and private realms and bringing natural daylight into the corridor.
Ultimately, The Springs chooses to emphasize and prioritize community spaces above all else as its focal point. Community spaces are prioritized by using a simple but sympathetic massing geometry, incorporating modest but textural materials, utilizing a transparent and active ground floor, and finally by programming multiple healthy, interactive and flexible community spaces with fresh air and daylight. The Springs is a model for sustainability achieving EarthCraft Platinum Certification, the first in the State of Virginia.