The Nannie Helen at 4800 is an exciting mixed-use project that creates an active and vibrant residential community, providing many benefits to the residents and the larger Deanwood community of Washington, DC. The project is 100% affordable housing and 1/3 of the units are replacement public housing units as part of the Lincoln Heights/Richardson Dwellings New Communities Initiative for the District of Columbia Housing Authority.
Planning and Urban Design
An approved PUD plan was established through engagement with the community and city agencies including the consolidation of 10 adjacent parcels located along Nannie Helen Burroughs Avenue, NE. The Nannie Helen’s urban design repairs the eroded urban fabric by re-establishing the street edge and creating a vital mixed-use destination. The retail component of the project anchors the corner of the site and connects the existing retail at Minnesota Avenue with the planned Deanwood Town Center farther down Nannie Helen Burroughs Avenue. The project is located within a 15 minute walk of three Metro stations and is served by a major bus route. The public realm and building design provides pedestrian and bicycle access and connectivity to the existing street network with elements such as wide sidewalks, adequate lighting, and street trees.
Architectural Character and the Existing Neighborhood
To help blend the new building into the existing neighborhood, the design is separated into two portions that vary the massing of the building. The first has a background field of wall with projecting bays, while the second has a projected wall with inset openings. The size and rhythm of the openings remains the same between the two portions of the building, creating a cohesive urban form. The building is setback 25’ from the rear property line and a terraced green buffer retaining wall is in the back of the property. Important design goals included facades that relate to the surrounding architecture through scale and rhythm, as well as a clear establishment of the commercial ground level.
Residential Community and Amenities
The project includes a mix of one bedroom, two bedroom, and three bedroom units. The majority of units are two and three bedroom to cater to the needs of families in the community. The ground floor units have adjacent outdoor space and several of the units include outdoor balconies. The project also includes an 800 square foot Fitness Center and an outdoor, rubberized surface playground area for children, promoting healthy, active lifestyles for its inhabitants.
Green Design and Building
Given the site’s urban location, a focus on reducing the heat island effect was an important goal achieved through the use of reflective roofing and paving that is light colored or shaded. Pervious pavement is utilized in the parking areas, and a biorention swale reduces the amount of unfiltered stormwater sent to the sewer system.
88,900 sf of office, retail and residential space
70 residential units
41 parking spaces
800 sf fitness center
light colored/ shaded paving
pervious parking areas
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Torti Gallas + Partners understands how to integrate and transform neighborhoods for the connected world.View more projects