Located in a developing suburb of Northern Virginia the project is a pioneer in the area for transforming an auto-oriented suburb to a walkable urban village. A prominent goal of the project is to create a flexible, open space for, not only the residents bordering it, but the larger community. A main street was created to link the two busy streets at either end of the site and a large pedestrian promenade on both sides was designed as an open space to connect residents, engage neighbors and serve commuters. The combination of the landscaped public gathering space and the access to cafes and retail resulted in a lively open space used daily by the community. Seating for visitors is provided through clusters of carefully placed boulders and benches which are surrounded by multi-seasonal plantings and graceful water features. The street is purposely on grade with the promenade to respect the pedestrian experience, and when closed to auto traffic, the enlarged open space accommodates festivals, fairs, and community events.
■ The plaza at Halstead Square is a lively gathering place incorporating natural elements and varied seating, and landscape design that invites shared use by area commuters and neighborhood residents. ■ The site was formerly scattered with several under-utilized buildings and the new design includes a street, pedestrian promenade, and open space that offer the community a place to retreat from the busier roads at either end of the promenade. ■ The mixed-use buildings added to the site are set back to define a street edge and allow for open space. The street rises to the grade of the plaza to creating a seamless open space with the flexibility to be used for festivals, fairs, markets, and other community events when the street is closed. ■ The open space has a positive impact on the community because it has created a walkable destination for socializing before and after area residents utilize the surrounding cafes and retail destinations. ■ The planted ellipse is designed as an open space with a dramatic counterpoint to the orthogonal geometry of the surrounding buildings. The fountains and plantings draw people in and create a peaceful backdrop. The ellipse shaped space includes local rocks, a small native cypress grove, and fountains which become an oasis reminiscent of Virginia’s rich landscape and the agricultural history of the region.